I should have been in the Lach Tray stadium, the home of rivals Hai Phong, to witness another thrilling Ha Noi T&T comeback. Instead, I’d failed miserably in my effort to overcome my sickness and was forced to stay in the capital, watching the game via the magic box.
The match begun at a blistering pace; Hai Phong’s Đức Thắng nodding the home side in front after just 2 minutes. The often fiery fixture lived up to its notoriety, when 3 minutes later both Đức Thắng and Ha Noi T&T’s Samson were dismissed. Samson, having already kicked and swung a punch at one Hai Phong player (who had tripped him), was hit in the face by Đức Thắng, who then himself was on the receiving end of a Samson fist.
V League top scorer,Samson, might get a lengthy ban for this one:
85 minutes remained. The tackles were flying in; T&T’s Thanh Luong was particularly lucky to stay on the field after he left the floor with a two footed lunge, only to receive a yellow card.
Moments after Hai Phong had hit the Hanoi post, in form striker, Van Quyet, beat the offside trap and confidently leveled for T&T. Half time 1-1, hopefully the break would take the sting out of the tackles in the second half.
Hai Phong hit back early, when Jamaican Diego Fagan found the ball at his feet after some poor T&T defending, and comfortably put his side in front. Strangely, with 35 minutes remaining last season, T&T were trailing & recorded a great 3-2 victory. The fight back would also begin now; Gonzalo somehow assisted himself, seeing his knock-down header ricochet back to him and poke home from 6 yards.
With ten minutes remaining it was possible to hear (on the TV) the distinct English accent of Hai Phong manager Dylan Kerr shouting “don’t leave Gonzalo free“. Ironically, 2 minutes later; it was Gonzalo, who was free, at the far post, to easily head home his second of the day and Ha Noi T&T’s winner. Another impressive fightback, Full time 3-2.
Ha Noi T&T now move three points clear at the top of the V League after Quang Ninh stunned title chasing Binh Duong 2-1.