The match was delayed twice because of the recent Damsey typhoon, which harmed Quảng Nam Stadium’s field, which was ruled not qualified for holding a game.
Quảng Ninh, on the other side, failed to end their 10-year winless streak against their arch-rivals on both home and away grounds.
Despite being the visitors, Quảng Ninh played better, with a view to avenge their loss of 1-3 in the first leg of this season.
The best players were on the field, with strikers Mạc Hồng Quân, Patiyo Tambwe and Dyachenko Rodion Sergey rotating to attack Quảng Nam’s goalkeeper Phạm Văn Cường.
However, it was the host who opened the score.
Đặng Hữu Phước netted the opener at the 34th minute with a long-range finish that brought the stadium to its feet, which was filled with nearly 15,000 supporters.
The 26m strong and straight kick went to the right upper corner of goalie Nguyễn Hoài Anh, who tried but failed to reach the ball.
Tambwe had the ball near the penalty area of Quảng Nam. However, his shot went wide, with a hair gap at the 43rd mark. Two minutes later, all eyes were on the Congolese striker again, breaking into Quảng Nam’s box and leaving goalie Cường behind, but his finish was inaccurate.
Quảng Nam also had their chances. One of the most threatening opportunities went to Nguyễn Trung Đại Dương, whose close finish went wide in the last second of the first half.
Quảng Ninh’s strong effort brought results just five minutes after the interval.
Tambwe finally succeeded, as he received a ball from teammate Nguyễn Xuân Hùng and sent it straight to the net.
The equal situation was maintained until the 80th minute, when Quảng Nam received a penalty.
Quảng Ninh’s Dương Thanh Hào let the ball touch his hand in the box, followed by Malaysian referee Mohammad Zamzaidi giving Quảng Nam a shot, which captain Ðinh Thanh Trung converted into his eighth goal of the season, with four of them in Quảng Ninh’s net.
Coach Hùng of Quảng Ninh said the ground and weather strongly affected his players’ short ball style, while Quảng Nam played well with their long balls.
Quảng Ninh took part in the game without some key defenders, because of injuries, and their young players could not fill the hole.
Hùng said Quảng Nam, which showed off their stable performance throughout the year, deserved to win this season.
Coach Hoàng Văn Phúc noted that Quảng Nam set the pace of the game, creating chances to score, but could only net twice. Though it was enough for them to enjoy a bonus of VNĐ860 million (US$38,600) for the win.
The former national team manager, however, is not thinking of the trophy yet.
“We just enjoy this moment first. We could only think of the triumph if we could beat Hà Nội in the next round,” he said.
The league will have this weekend off as national players prepare for the 2019 Asian Cup qualification against Afghanistan on November 14.
The matches will return five days later.
Quảng Nam will visit Hà Nội at Hàng Ðẫy Stadium, while Quảng Ninh travels south to face HCM City FC.
The last two rounds of the V.League will be supervised by the police, according to the Việt Nam Football Federation, to prevent match fixing.
Police will be invited to watch important matches during each round.
The VFF has set up this cooperation with the police since 2008.
Currently, Long An has taken the only relegation berth for the First Division next season.
The top position will see competition between Quảng Nam, Hà Nội and Thanh Hóa, who are in third position. — VNS