Hai Phong down Binh Duong to win Vietnamese National Cup

Hai Phong were crowned champions of the Vietnamese National Cup on Sunday after claiming a 2-0 win over Becamex Binh Duong at the Lach Tray Stadium.

Dylan Kerr’s charges broke the deadlock after eight minutes when Ho Van Thuan found space at the back post to meet Nguyen Van Nam’s searching left-wing cross, and expertly steered a looping header into the far corner.

However, it was their opponents who enjoyed the better of the chances throughout the opening 45 and Trinh Quang Vinh had a good chance to equalise in the 15th minute when the ball broke into his path, only for his ferocious shot to be brilliantly blocked by Dao Van Phong.

Two minutes before halftime, it was Abass Cheikh Dieng’s turn to threaten for Binh Duong when he broke free inside the box but Nguyen Thanh Thang produced a fine save to push his blistering effort wide.

The hosts were unlucky not to double their tally eight minutes into the second half after they had been awarded a freekick on the edge of the box; Dong Duc Thang curling a lovely effort that came back off the foot of the post with Nguyen Quoc Thien Esele completely rooted to the spot.

Binh Duong continued to push forward and had another chance in the 72nd minute when a clever layoff by Nguyen Trong Hoang nearly created a clear-cut scoring opportunity, but Vu Thanh Tung raced back and made a vital clearance to halt the threat.

And having soaked up all the pressure that was being thrown their way, Hai Phong went on to wrap up the win 15 minutes from time after a mix-up between Luong Minh Trung and Truong Dinh Luat allowed Andre Fagan to latch onto a hopeful long ball by Duc Thang and race through, before coolly slotting his shot into the back of the net.

The triumph was Hai Phong’s second National Cup crown and sees them join Binh Dinh, SHB Da Nang and Song Lam Nghe An as the most successful clubs in the competition.

As a result of their triumph, they will also be among Vietnam’s representatives in continental football in 2015 given a spot in the AFC Cup usually goes to the cup winners.

Meanwhile, Binh Duong will have to settle for one piece of silverware this season having been crowned V.League 1 champions earlier this month after pipping Ha Noi T&T to the title.