The clash at Hang Day stadium drew huge attention from domestic experts and fans alike, as these are the two leading youth football training centres in Vietnam at present. In addition, both teams currently possess many members of the national squad in their lineups.
Determined to bag the full three points, the two sides both started the match at a lightning pace, pouring constant waves of retaliatory attacks on each other’s goal throughout the first 45 minutes.
Van Toan missed the chance to gift the Gia Lai team an early lead as he failed to beat keeper The Tai in a face-to-face after five minutes.
Viettel also came close to opening the scoring nine minutes later, with Hoang Duc’s left-footed curler unexpectedly hitting the crossbar.
The 21-year-old midfielder threatened to score again a few minutes before half-time, but the brilliance of goalie Sietsma saved the guests from trailing behind.
After the break, Van Thanh came off the bench and immediately marked his return from injury by smashing the deadlock for Hoang Anh Gia Lai. In the 58th minute, Van Toan sped up in the right wing before passing the ball to Chevaughn Walsh, who fed Van Thanh dashing forward on his left to drive a long-range shot into an empty net.
The unexpected goal forced Viettel to increase pressure seeking for an equaliser. However, the home side’s attempts were denied by the solid defence of the visitors.
Chevaughn Walsh scores the third goal for Hoang Anh Gia Lai. (Photo: NDO/Tran Hai)
With just three minutes to go, Chevaughn Walsh netted a double to seal a 3-0 triumph for Lee Tae-hoon’s side, which lifted them to seventh in the table with 13 points, three above 11th-placed Viettel.
On the same day, Song Lam Nghe An retained their third place ranking after playing out a goalless draw at Hai Phong FC. Meanwhile, SHB Da Nang enjoyed their second consecutive win by edging out bottom-placed Sanna Khanh Hoa 2-1 on their home soil.
2019 V.League Table - Matchday 9