Hanoi FC registered a narrow 1-0 victory over Hai Phong in the first round of the 2018 season on March 11, which was enough to help the capital team to temporarily share top spot with Quang Ninh Coal.
Hanoi players celebrate their victory against Hai Phong.
Hai Phong travelled to Hang Day Stadium with a great determination to bag the full three points, aiming to shatter the unfortunate record of suffering eight consecutive losses on Hanoi’s home field.
Both teams started the match at a high tempo right from the first whistle, with the guests creating the first opportunity, as Nguyen Dinh Bao’s fourth-minute cross from the left wing unintentionally found the crossbar of the Hanoi side.
Hanoi claimed control in the following minutes, producing several dangerous attacks on the away goal.
Manager Chu Dinh Nghiem’s side should have gone ahead but for goalkeeper Dang Van Lam’s save from Van Dai’s tight-angle shot in the 16th minute before blocking the ball right on the goal line two minutes later.
The brilliant performance of Van Lam was also the only bright spot for Hai Phong during the first 45 minutes.
Hanoi keeper Van Cong had to make a smart save from Dinh Bao’s deflected strike from a long range 13 minutes into the second half, while his Hai Phong counterpart, Van Lam, was also called into action, denying a long-range effort by Nigerian striker Oseni in the 64th minute.
Five minutes later, Van Dai broke the deadlock for the home side, firing the ball into the empty net after it was driven off the crossbar by teammate Oseni.
With time running out, Hai Phong built pressure as they sought a way back into the game. However, the guests missed out on an equaliser despite their concerted efforts.
In the other matches, Quang Ninh Coal edged out SHB Da Nang 1-0 to share the top sport with Hanoi FC. Reigning champions Quang Nam and Hoang Anh Gia Lai recorded respective 1-1 and 0-0 draws against Saigon and former champions Becamex Binh Duong. V.League newbie Nam Dinh played out a goalless tie with XSKT Can Tho.
V.League 1-2018 Table