Nguyen Duc Thang’s troops had been expected to have to climb a mountain against a Hanoi side who had been the only team yet to concede a loss this season.
However, the central team took everyone by surprise as they stormed into a three-goal lead in the first 45 minutes.
Trong Hung opened the scoring for Thanh Hoa after 19 minutes before Rimario doubled their advantage eight minutes later.
The guests were reduced to 10 men in the 37th minute when centre back Tran Dinh Trong was sent off for a straight red card following a foul on Rimario in the box. Gramoz successfully converted the resulting penalty to make it 3-0 heading into half-time.
After the break, Hanoi FC increased their pressure seeking to narrow the score. In the 47th minute, the guests were awarded a penalty kick as Quang Hai was brought down in the area. From the spot, former Thanh Hoa player, Pape Omar, made no mistake to pull back a goal for Chu Dinh Nghiem’s side.
With time running out, Hanoi FC continued to push hard for additional goals, but faced stubborn resistance from the home side.
Hanoi FC (in blue) have conceded the first defeat in 2019 V.League.
Failing to capitalise on the created opportunities, the reigning champions were forced to concede a fourth goal in the 74th minute owing to substitute Xuan Cuong’s close-range attempt.
Thanh Luong was put onto the field in Chu Dinh Nghiem’s last-minute efforts to reduce the gap, but Hanoi FC could not realise their goal as the 4-1 score was maintained until the last whistle, which also meant an end to the guests’ amazing eight-game unbeaten run since the beginning of the season.
The second consecutive victory lifted Thanh Hoa FC to ninth place with ten points, three points clear of the relegation zone. More importantly, a three-game unbeaten streak (two wins and one draw) has helped Nguyen Duc Thang’s side to gradually regain the trust from the home fans after a poor start to the season.
With Hanoi FC’s unexpected fall, Ho Chi Minh City continued to stay at top of the table two points clear despite being held to a 1-1 draw by Quang Nam FC on their home field. Meanwhile, the same score was also recorded in the clash between Nam Dinh FC and Quang Ninh Coal.