Hà Nội FC players celebrate beating HCM City FC 2-0 in the V.League 1 over the weekend. Photo toquoc.vn
HÀ NỘI — Defending champions Hà Nội FC beat HCM City FC 2-0 in a fraught V.League 1 encounter on Saturday at Hàng Đẫy Stadium in Hà Nội.
Coach Chung Hae-seong of HCM City set out his team to defend from the off and their attacks were restricted to pot shots from captain Đỗ Văn Thuận in the first half.
Meanwhile, the hosts Hà Nội controlled the ball but were unable to penetrate City's defence and the two sides went into the break with the score still 0-0.
The game's turning point came in the 67th minute when City defender Papé Diakité was adjudged to have fouled star Hà Nội midfielder Nguyễn Quang Hải in the penalty area.
The penalty decision appeared soft but that didn't matter to Hà Nội captain Nguyễn Văn Quyết, who cooly slotted the penalty home.
Hải made sure of the result in the 86th minute with a smart left-footed finish into the corner.
After the match, due to a health problem, coach Chung of HCM City was unable to attend the press conference, so language assistant Yang Jaemo spoke to the press.
"Congratulations Hà Nội on winning. We will try in the next matches, we have only four days to prepare for the next match against Viettel, we will work hard,” said Yang.
“HCM City did not dare to play attack, but competed with a 5-4-1 formation, making it difficult for our team to move the ball. In the second half, we did better. We always have the highest goal and we took three points. Hà Nội are only four points away from the top team, so we always want to win,” coach Chu Đình Nghiêm of Hà Nội said.
Else where, Viettel beat Hoàng Anh Gia Lai 4-1; league leaders Sài Gòn FC defeated Hồng Lĩnh Hà Tĩnh 2-1; Thanh Hóa drew with Nam Định 1-1; SHB Đà Nẵng defeated Hải Phòng 1-0; and Quảng Binh bested Becamex Bình Dương 3-0. — VNS