V.League 1-2020 Phase 2: Five talking points from Matchday 2

Saturday, 2020-10-17 13:27:58
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Hanoi FC's midfielder Nguyen Quang Hai (L) in action during their match against Hoang Anh Gia Lai.
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NDO – The second matchday of V.League 1’s phase 2 saw Viettel FC sweep away the top spot from Saigon FC while reigning champions Hanoi FC accelerate their pace in the sprint stage of the title race.

>>> Hanoi FC grind out HAGL to put pressure on leaders Viettel

>>> Bruno’s penalty steer Viettel FC to top of V.League 1

The following are five talking points from the latest V.League 1 action.

Viettel knock Saigon off top spot

Viettel FC players celebrate after Bruno Cantanhede opens the scoring.

Viettel FC knocked Saigon FC off the top of V.League 1 by beating Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC) FC 1-0 thanks to a solitary goal by Brazilian forward Bruno Cantanhede from the penalty spot.

Standing one point clear, Truong Viet Hoang’s side are now holding the self-determination in this year’s title campaign, with only five games left to go in the season.

Quang Nam FC edge very close to relegation

Under the dynasty of new manager Nguyen Thanh Cong, Quang Nam FC prompted to an early lead against Thanh Hoa FC. However, they could not build on that advantage to seal the final victory, letting their opponents to come from behind to secure a 2-1 win. Such a bitter loss has brought Quang Nam closer to the First Division ticket than ever.

Now, Quang Nam can only resort to the fragile hopes of surpassing Hai Phong, who are currently four points clear, in the relegation race.

A forgettable round for HCMC’s representatives

Ho Chi Minh City (in red) have almost been kicked out of the title race.

For the first time in the 2020 season, both Saigon FC and HCMC succumbed to defeats, making it a forgettable round for the two representatives from Ho Chi Minh City. For Saigon, the loss against Becamex Binh Duong deprived them of the top spot after having been in the lead for six consecutive matchdays.

Meanwhile, the defeat to Viettel has almost been kicked HCMC out of the title race as their gap with the leaders has been extended to eight points with five games in hand.

Two more teams assured of a V.League berth next season

Making good use of their home advantage, both Thanh Hoa and Song Lam Nghe An bagged the full three points against Quang Nam and Hai Phong, respectively. More importantly, these victories have moved them to 10 and 12 points clear of bottom-placed Quang Nam. With only three games to go in Group B (relegation race), Thanh Hoa and Nghe An have officially safeguarded their V.League places for the 2021 season.

Reigning champions put pressure on title frontrunners

Reigning champions Hanoi FC are accelerating their pace in the sprint stage of the 2020 title race.

Reigning champions Hanoi FC cruised to a resounding 4-0 away win over Hoang Anh Gia Lai, thus moving up to third place, just two points behind leaders Viettel FC and one adrift of second-placed Saigon FC. This means the top three rankings will possibly be shuffled in the coming matchdays as these teams clash against each other.