Nam Dinh has one hand on the V.League 1 – 2023/2024 championship

In a dramatic finish, Rafaelson’s header in the fifth minute of injury time earned Nam Dinh a crucial 1-0 victory over Ha Tinh on the evening of June 20. This win helps Nam Dinh maintain their four-point lead over Binh Dinh as the V.League 1- 2023/2024 season approaches its final two rounds.

Ha Tinh managed to keep the scoreline at 0-0 until the fourth minute of stoppage time, seemingly set to depart from Thien Truong Stadium with a point. However, the home team had other plans.

In the fifth minute of added time, after Vikto Le headed away Hendrio’s corner, To Van Vu picked up the loose ball and passed it to Ho Khac Ngoc. Khac Ngoc deftly chipped the ball into the penalty area, where Rafaelson rose above the defense to head it past goalkeeper Nguyen Thanh Tung. The Brazilian forward then celebrated exuberantly, removing his shirt and kneeling in front of the jubilant Nam Dinh supporters.

Rafaelson celebrated his injury-time goal, helping Nam Dinh defeat Ha Tinh 1-0 at Thien Truong Stadium on June 20.

This victory puts Nam Dinh within touching distance of the V.League title. They now hold a four-point advantage over Binh Dinh, who defeated Hanoi FC 4-2 in a concurrent match. Coach Vu Hong Viet’s squad will secure the championship if they win their next match against the relegated Khanh Hoa on June 25.

At Thien Truong Stadium, Nam Dinh launched a relentless attack from the outset. Despite their efforts, they struggled to break through Ha Tinh’s resolute defense, as the visitors were desperate for points to avoid the relegation play-off. Ha Tinh often had all 11 players behind the ball, stifling Nam Dinh’s attempts to score. The home team tried various strategies, including direct attacks, wing play, and aerial balls aimed at their foreign duo Rafaelson and Hendrio.

Nam Dinh created several chances, but Rafaelson, Van Toan, and Van Vi all missed narrowly, with Ha Tinh’s goalkeeper Nguyen Thanh Tung rooted to the spot. In the 87th minute, a shot from Nam Dinh struck the crossbar, eliciting groans of frustration from the home fans.

Knowing that Binh Dinh had reduced the points gap by winning their match, Nam Dinh’s players intensified their efforts. Their persistence paid off in the final moments, as Rafaelson’s header from Khac Ngoc’s exquisite pass secured a last-gasp victory.

With 47 points, Nam Dinh now leads Binh Dinh by four points with just two matches remaining. Thien Truong Stadium outfit is on the brink of ending their title drought. A win against Khanh Hoa in their next fixture will guarantee the championship, regardless of other results. The prospect of celebrating a V.League 1 title is now a tangible reality for Nam Dinh’s fans and players.

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