Hanoi FC’s triumphant run to national cup final after dominating The Cong Viettel

The 2023-2024 V.League season concluded on June 30, with Hanoi FC finishing third, marking an impressive streak of 15 consecutive years in the top 3 since the 2010 season. Just four days later, Hanoi faced a formidable challenge in the National Cup semifinals against The Cong Viettel.

During the V.League season, Hanoi FC had a mixed record against Viettel, winning 2-0 in the first leg but losing 0-2 in the second leg, along with a 1-2 defeat in the round of 16 of the 2023 National Cup. However, the semi-final match at Hang Day Stadium on the evening of July 4 showcased Hanoi’s dominance, starting with an early goal in the 12th minute.

From deep within their own half, center-back Tim Hall launched a long ball into Viettel’s penalty area. Le Van Xuan chested it down to captain Van Quyet, who, despite close attention from a defender and the goalkeeper, managed to slot the ball into the empty net. This goal marked Van Quyet’s fourth against Viettel and his 12th of the season.

The game then opened up with both teams exchanging attacks. In the 22nd minute, Huu Thang struck the post for Viettel. Five minutes later, Van Quyet’s header forced Viettel’s goalkeeper Quang The Tai into a difficult save. Viettel thought they had equalized through Truong Tien Anh, but VAR disallowed the goal for offside by Nham Manh Dung in the build-up.

In the 40th minute, Tim Hall again sent a long ball from the back to Le Van Xuan, who was fouled by Quang The Tai in the box. Initially, the referee did not award a penalty, but after a VAR review, the decision was reversed. However, Pham Tuan Hai’s penalty was saved by the Viettel goalkeeper.

The second half continued with high-intensity attacks, and it only took seven minutes for Viettel to equalize. Nguyen Huu Thang received a pass from Hoang Duc and unleashed a stunning left-footed strike from 27 meters into the top-left corner. This spectacular goal leveled the score, but it was Viettel’s only bright moment.

Nguyen Hai Long, who had missed a chance earlier, put Hanoi back in the lead in the 63rd minute. After a cross from Pham Xuan Manh deflected off Phan Tuan Tai, Hai Long pounced to score from close range. He celebrated by taking off his shirt, mirroring his friend Huu Thang’s earlier celebration.

In the 85th minute, Hanoi introduced Joel Tagueu, who scored within a minute of coming on. Tuan Hai dribbled through the middle and passed to Tagueu, whose shot deflected off Bui Tien Dung into the net. Tagueu then sealed the victory with a powerful left-footed shot into the bottom corner in the seventh minute of stoppage time, making it 4-1.

Hanoi FC’s path to the National Cup final included 2-1 victories over Ha Tinh in the round of 16 and Da Nang in the quarterfinals. With only two days to prepare, Hanoi FC will face defending champions Thanh Hoa in the final on July 7, hoping to cap their season with a prestigious trophy.

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