HCMC –Song Lam Nghe An won the National Cup 2010 after defeating two-time V-League champions Hoang Anh Gia Lai 1-0 at HCMC’s Thong Nhat Stadium on Saturday.
Season ends with Song Lam Nghe An National Cup win
By Vu Duc - The Saigon Times Daily
Dinh Dong of Song Lam Nghe An fights for the ball with Van Nhien of Hoang Anh Gia Lai (top) during their V-League football match at Thong Nhat Stadium in HCMC on Saturday - Photo: Ba Chau HCMC –Song Lam Nghe An won the National Cup 2010 after defeating two-time V-League champions Hoang Anh Gia Lai 1-0 at HCMC’s Thong Nhat Stadium on Saturday.
Hoang Anh Gia Lai were still confident of a win even though the Central Highlands-based team started the game without left winger Le Van Truong, midfielder Nguyen Thai Duong and goalkeeper Shihavy. Brazilian strikers Evaldo Goncalves and Tiago De Paula, and Thai-born midfielders Nirut Surasiang and Sakda Joemdee, however, played from the kickoff.
Central-based Song Lam Nghe An, who won the cup twice in 2001 and 2002, were also confident with 2003 Golden Ball award winner Pham Van Quyen and national defender Nguyen Huy Hoang in their line-up.
Song Lam Nghe An strengthened their line-up earlier this year by signing Nigerian Abdulrazak Ekpoki and newly naturalized defender Helio, however, Bosnian Rajko Vidovic, who has scored 11 goals this season, was absent as he could not recover from his knee injury in time.
Both teams put pressure on in the first minutes, aiming to gain victory but the game got off to a wet start because of heavy rains. The player’s skills were affected by the rain and they did not control the ball.
With good ball possession, Song Lam Nghe An forwarders dominated the game and they nearly scored when striker Pham Van Quyen hit the post. Abdulrazak Ekpoki opened for Song Lam with a header in the 24th minute.
The second half was marred by heavy rain, Hoang Anh Gia Lai placed pressure on Song Lam’s defending line while Song Lam played defensively and relied on rare counter attacks to ensure their victory.
Despite strong attacks, Hoang Anh players created some scoring chances in the second half, but left the score at 1-0. Abdulrazak Ekpoki failed to score for Song Lam as his kick touched cross bar in the 82nd minute.
Hoang Anh Gia Lai beat SHB Danang 4-2 in a penalty shootout in the semifinal match while Song Lam Nghe An crushed Nam Dinh 3-0 in the second semifinal match in the National Cup 2010.
Song Lam Nghe An won the trophy and VND350 million (US$18,000). SHB Danang and Nam Dinh both ranked third.
Vietnam’s National Football Cup 2010 drew 26 teams including 14 teams from the country’s V-League and 12 teams from First Division.
The National Cup’s final marked the end of Vietnam’s 2009-2010 football season. The new season will begin in December with the Super Cup match when V-League champions Hanoi T&T will meet National Cup winners Song Lam Nghe An.