HA NOI Lam Son Thanh Hoa, previously known as The Cong, won their first National Super Cup after beating SHB Da Nang 4-2 in a penalty shootout at Ninh Binh Province stadium on Saturday.
The two teams, the National Cup first runner-up and the V-League winners, respectively, drew 1-1 after the two main halves of the match, which was considered the kick-off of the national football season.
It was the first time in the tournament s 11 years that the winner of the match was identified by penalty kicks. Da Nang, who are also the National Cup holder, failed to manage the match, although they showed off their better skills throughout the 90 minutes.
Meanwhile, Thanh Hoa were loyal with their counter-attack style, which helped them get the opening goal at the 20th minute. National team member Thach Bao Khanh combined with his teammate Da Silva who gave an accurate pass to O. Tostao. The Brazilian needed a light tap to score for Thanh Hoa.
Spending some minutes of confusion, Da Nang set up their domination and levelled the result 12 minutes later.
Merlo Gaston, a player from Argentina, escaped from two Thanh Hoa defenders to make a close-range shot past goalie Manh Dung.
With a hope of winning the last prestigious title of Viet Nam s football, Da Nang players pushed up their lineup with consecutive attacks, but it was not their day, as all of their shots were blocked by keeper Dung, or went wide.
In the penalty shootout, as four players from Thanh Hoa did their job very well, former national team players Hai Lam and Phuoc Vinh missed their goals.
"It is our first match under the new name, so the victory is very worthy. I am really satisfied with the results, especially with the spirit and the unity of the players. They are key roles in our victory against the stronger Da Nang," said coach Vu Truong Giang of Thanh Hoa.
"The win will be a strong force for us to play well in the new season, in which we hope to rank high," Giang added.
"My players tried their best today, but we just couldn t win. It s football, you know, so we do not need to be sad. The thing to do is to forget it and prepare for the new tournament," said coach Le Huynh Duc of Da Nang.
The failure made Da Nang the only team in the national top four to know nothing about the Super Cup. VNS