Hà Nội vs Viettel in the National Cup’s final held at Hàng Đẫy Stadium in Hà Nội. A frantic final 15 minutes saw the defending champions come from behind to lift the trophy. Photo zing.vn

Football

HÀ NỘI — Hà Nội FC came from a goal behind to win the National Cup against city rivals Viettel last night in a dramatic last 15 minutes of the final.

Golden boy Nguyễn Quang Hải pounced on a loose ball in the Viettel penalty area and volleyed home with just three minutes to go.

On 75 minutes, underdogs Viettel thought that had sealed the win when midfielder Ngọc Sơn broke the deadlock in what up until that point, had been an uneventful affair.

But Vietel held their lead for just seven minutes.

Hà Nội FC midfielder Trương Văn Thái Quý made the most of confusion among the Viettel defence to power the ball home for the equaliser.

The goal sent shivers down the spines of the team in white who must have already thought their name was on the trophy.

But glory was not to be, and Viettel took their eyes off the prize and with three minutes to go, Hải was in the right place at the right time to slot home the winner with his trusty left foot.

Up until the final quarter of the game, the match had been a tepid affair.

On five minutes Hải jinxed into the box from the left but his cross was too high for Nguyễn Văn Quyết.

The defending champions had all of the early exchanged, mainly from the guile of Hải who forced Viettel goalkeeper Trần Nguyên Mạnh into a good save on the ten minute mark.

Underdogs Viettel struggled to get a foothold on the game, but on 20 minutes Nguyễn Hoàng Đức thought he had broken the deadlock but his effort crashed against the crossbar.

After the break, Viettel began to turn the screw and will be disappointed they never took the lead on 54 minutes from a corner but the strike was saved by Bùi Tấn Trường in Hà Nội’s goal.

Just before the hour mark, Bruno Cunha should have done better from the edge of the box but he dragged his shot wide.

As extra time loomed, Viettel broke the deadlock. But their hopes of lifting the trophy were dashed in a final ten frantic minutes at Hàng Đẫy Stadium.

This is the first time the team from the capital have lifted the National Cup, and the victory was even sweeter as it came against their capital rivals.

For the first time in 16 years, Hà Nội have regained the National Cup, a feat only achieved back in 2004 by Bình Định.

As for Viettel, that’s now four National Cup Finals they have failed to win. — VNS

 

A long line of expectant fans added to the hype of the National Cup final. 

 

Just hours ahead of the National Cup final at  Hà Nội’s Hàng Đẫy Stadium on Sunday afternoon, people jostled and scrambled to buy tickets to the match. Photos tuoitre.vn