|Hà Nội players celebrate their National Super Cup victory at Thống Nhất Stadium on Sunday. They defeated HCM City 2-1 to take their third title. — Photo of Hà Nội FC|
HÀ NỘI — Hà Nội FC lifted their third National Super Cup after coming from behind to beat HCM City 2-1 on Sunday at Thống Nhất Stadium.
Only 100 fans of both teams were allowed into the stadium as organisers wanted to avoid the risk of catching the current novel coronavirus outbreak.
Playing behind closed doors, HCM City could not enjoyed their advantage as hosts while Hà Nội were not under pressure from home fans.
However, the visitors suffered a big blow when key defender Đỗ Duy Mạnh got injured and was replaced at the fourth minute.
Mạnh’s departure left a big hole in the Hà Nội defence, which was also Trần Đình Trọng and star midfielder Nguyễn Quang Hải due to injuries.
National striker Lê Công Phượng opened the scoring for HCM City after 19 minutes with a shot from 25m that beat goalkeeper Trần Văn Công.
It was Phượng’s third goal in three matches for HCM City, and he received a VNĐ10 million (US$430) bonus for the opener.
However, Hà Nội proved why they are champions of both the V.League 1 and the National Cup.
Defender Nguyễn Công Thành scored an own goal in the 30th minute, and 14 minutes later goalkeeper Bùi Tiến Dũng flapped at the ball, which fell to Pape Omar Faye, who did not waste the opportunity.
"Dũng was under a little pressure facing his former team but I think he is getting better," South Korean coach Chung Hae-song said at the post-match briefing.
"We should look at the whole match not a single mistake. The loss for the team is not always because of the keeper. Dũng is a good shot-stopper and he will progress in a short time," Chung said.
HCM City went after an equaliser in the second half, but failed to come close.
Hà Nội are the second club after Becamex Bình Dương to win a hattrick of three domestic titles in the season. They also pocketed VNĐ300 million ($13,000).
HCM City received VNĐ200 million ($8,600) and will have to wait another year for their first ever Super Cup victory.
The V.League 1 will kick off on March 7, with the first matches to be held in empty stadiums. The V.League 2 will kick off on March 14. The National Cup will be organised from April 3 to October 31. — VNS