Two new teams for V.League 2 – 2024/2025 have been determined

This afternoon, June 17, two crucial playoff matches for promotion to the 2024/2025 National First Division took place at Ha Tinh Stadium in Ha Tinh province.

For the first time in history, a playoff match in the Second Division (on June 17) featured VAR technology, following FIFA’s approval of a proposal from the Vietnam Football Federation (VFF) and the National Second Division’s organizing committee. The inaugural match saw two ambitious teams, Bac Ninh FC advised by coach Park Hang-seo, and Ho Chi Minh FC youth team.

The use of VAR proved effective, assisting referee Nguyen Trung Kien and his team in making accurate decisions, ensuring fairness and reducing the tension on the field. The first playoff match between Bac Ninh FC and Ho Chi Minh FC youth team, held on neutral ground in Ha Tinh, was intense and exciting until the final whistle, showcasing high-quality play. The game’s turning point came in the 21st minute when VAR intervened following a foul by center-back Minh Quang, who accidentally kicked Do Merlo in the head inside the penalty area.

From the spot at the 26th minute, Tran Hoang Phuong calmly converted the penalty, giving Ho Chi Minh FC youth team a 1-0 lead, marking his sixth goal of the season. In the 45+5th minute, from a quick right-wing advance, Hoang Phuong passed the ball back to captain Nguyen Van Giang, who crossed into the box. Do Merlo, using his physical presence, headed the ball into the far corner, doubling the lead for Ho Chi Minh FC youth team. Before the end of the first half, Ho Chi Minh FC youth team had to replace goalkeeper Thanh Phu with former U23 Vietnam and LPBank HAGL goalkeeper Le Van Truong.

In the 54th minute, Ho Chi Minh FC youth team substituted exhausted Do Merlo (39) and Tran Hoang Phuong with striker Huynh Kesley (42) and midfielder Vu Minh Hieu, while Pham Quoc Tuan replaced injured former LPBank HAGL center-back Nguyen Canh Anh. Bac Ninh FC also made a mandatory substitution, replacing the injured Nguyen The Thang with former U23 Vietnam player Nguyen Quang Tinh (36). As the match progressed, both teams were physically drained. Merlo’s departure eased the pressure on Bac Ninh FC, allowing them to push forward aggressively under the leadership of Quang Tinh and Hong Son.

VAR intervened again in the 84th minute, awarding Bac Ninh FC a penalty, which substitute Nguyen Hong Son converted, reducing the deficit to 1-2. In the first minute of added time, Bac Ninh FC’s captain Hong Son intercepted the ball and set up Nguyen Trong Son, who decisively scored from the left to equalize 2-2. During the penalty shootout, goalkeeper Le Van Truong shone, saving two penalties from Sy Minh and Van Hung, and pressuring Van Toan to miss, securing a 3-1 shootout victory for Ho Chi Minh FC youth team.

Despite Bac Ninh FC’s valiant efforts and coach Park’s guidance, they couldn’t maintain their composure in the penalty shootout. Nonetheless, coach Ngo Quang Truong’s team had an impressive season, with future opportunities for promotion still ahead.

In the subsequent playoff match, Dinh Huong Phu Nhuan FC secured a 2-0 victory over KonTum, earning the second promotion slot to the 2024/2025 National First Division alongside Ho Chi Minh FC youth team.

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