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Source: Socialist Republic of Vietnam

The hosts took advantage of HCMC’s defensive holes to move three goals in front thanks to the efforts of Kelly (14’), Van Toan (18’) and Chevaughn Walsh (34’) before Phi Son scored from the penalty spot to reduce the gap by 1-3 just a few minutes before halftime.

After the break, HAGL continued to dominate ball possession and added two more goals, owing to Damir Memovic (54’) and Van Thanh (64’).

HAGL forward Van Toan celebrates scoring their second goal. (Photo: Vnexpress)

The remaining minutes were only enough for the guests to score just one more time to settle for a bitter 2-5 away defeat, thus concluding their first-phase campaign in fifth place with 20 points.

Meanwhile, the resounding victory helped HAGL to defend their seventh position in the table and qualify for phase 2’s title race.

Reigning champions Hanoi FC came from behind to play out a 1-1 home draw against Thanh Hoa FC and end up in fourth place in phase 1. Hoang Vu Samson opened the scoring for the visitors shortly before halftime, only to see his efforts cancelled out by Hanoi captain Van Quyet on the hour mark.

Players of Hanoi FC and Thanh Hoa FC battle for the ball during their Thursday match.

Newly promoted Hong Linh Ha Tinh have brilliantly defended their V.League place this season after edging out bottom-placed Quang Nam FC 3-2 on home field. The impressive win helped Pham Minh Duc’s side break into the top eight in the table and continue their title quest in the second phase.

Second-placed Viettel were beaten in an away match with two straight goals by Becamex Binh Duong, while Hai Phong FC and Nam Dinh FC recorded respective 2-1 and 1-0 victories against Song Lam Nghe An and SHB Da Nang.

Leaders Saigon FC were held to a 0-0 draw by Quang Ninh Coal, the only scoreless match on the last matchday of the first phase.

The V.League 1 – 2020 table after the first phase.

The second phase of V.League 1 – 2020 will kick off on October 9 with two Group A clashes – Saigon FC vs Hong Linh Ha Tinh and Viettel FC vs Hoang Anh Gia Lai.

The Group B campaign will commence the following day with two matches, SHB Da Nang vs Hai Phong FC and Thanh Hoa FC vs Nam Dinh FC.

MIL OSI Asia Pacific News