2021 Vietnamese National Cup

Khanh Hoa FC and Phu Dong FC book last berths in Cup’s Round of 16

Monday, 2021-04-26 09:46:13
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Khanh Hoa FC (in blue) easily beat Phu Tho FC to advance into the National Cup's Round of 16. (Photo: Thethao.vn)
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NDO – The last two matches of the National Cup qualifying phase took place on April 25, with Khanh Hoa FC and Phu Dong FC having seen off their opponents to advance into the Round of 16.

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At Nha Trang Stadium, Khanh Hoa FC demonstrated their great confidence and experience by proactively deploying attacks and putting constant pressure on the guests right from the opening whistle.

However, Phu Tho FC resisted bravely, forcing the hosts to wait until the last minute of the first half to get off the mark. Minh Khai powered in a close-range shot from a free-kick cross to open the scoring.

After the break, Khanh Hoa FC played with great comfort and slowed their pace to find ways through Phu Tho’s defence. In the 72nd minute Thanh Nhan punished a Phu Tho mistake, bursting down to steal the ball and shooting past the goalkeeper to seal a 2-0 win for the home side.

Earlier that day, at Thanh Tri Stadium (Hanoi), Phu Dong FC produced a better start against Hue FC, but could not break through the guests’ defence during the first half.

It was not until the 63rd minute that young midfielder Mach Ngoc Ha scored the solitary goal of the match to help Phu Dong FC continue with their National Cup campaign this season.

Concluding the qualifying phase, five of the nine V.League 1 teams were knocked out of the National Cup, while seven First Division clubs have advanced. This is a big surprise and is far from the predictions before the tournament. Even V.League 1 powerhouses such as Hoang Anh Gia Lai and SHB Da Nang were forced to fight hard to see off lower-rated rivals. Such a fact shows the progress of the First Division representatives and the narrow level difference between teams in this year’s season.

The National Cup’s Round of 16 is scheduled to take place in July.