A lot was said about that Chelsea side that fell away after winning the title. You know the one I’m on about, don’t you? Fab. I don’t think that has anything on what Quang Nam have managed this season. They’ve been nowhere near the level that they were last season and it’s crazy to think that they won the league last year. If it’s possible, they’re like worse than a shadow of their former selves.  I’m not too sure what that saying is, but hey, let’s just get involved before we start looking like a bunch of plums.

So, at this moment in time, Quang Nam sit ninth, six points off the foot of the table and a staggering twenty-five points off first-placed Ha Noi. That’s got to be up there with one of the worst attempts ever when it comes to defending a title. Right – their last five. Our tale begins with a winnable home tie against Hai Phong. Surely they must have won that one? Don’t be daft. Errol Stevens put the away side in the lead seven minutes before the break. Surely Quang Nam wouldn’t collapse that easily? Not quite. Nguyen Huy Hung drew the hosts level five minutes later which meant it was honours even at the interval. It also finished that way. Meh. Final score: Quang Nam 1-1 Hai Phong.

Ha Noi Do What They Do Best

Ha Noi were one of the sides that Quang Nam pipped to the title last season, so this should’ve been a relatively tight affair. To be fair to both the sides, it was! Yes, when Doan Van Vu gave Ha Noi the lead inside twenty minutes, everyone did panic. Rugby score? Maybe even a cricket score? How about an equaliser? Wow. Ngo Quang Huy pulled the defending champions back into the game on the half-hour mark. Maybe they still had some winning minerals, after all.

It remained 1-1 until half-time. It also remained 1-1 until the 90th-minute. And the 91st-minute. And the 95th-minute. You know what’s coming, don’t you? Aye, that’s right, Samson. I am going to have to collate how many goals he’s scored off the bench this season as it’s bordering on ridiculous. Regardless of the total, it was only this goal that mattered and it arrived in the fifth minute of second-half stoppage time. Ouch. Final score: Ha Noi 2-1 Quang Nam.

Do Quang Nam Even Want To Win?

Quang Nam were back in the comfort of their home. It wasn’t the easiest game, though. Hoang Anh Gia Lai (HAGL) were in town. I’ve said it once, so I’ll say it again – HAGL are the best footballing side I’ve said in this league by far. It can bite them on the arse at times, mind as they’re very one-dimensional. If your Quang Nam, you want to get in the lead and block them out. Sounds simple enough, right? Not to Quang Nam. A goal either side of halftime from Nguyen Van Toan put HAGL two-nil up and in cruise control.

Quang Nam were going to have to dig in deep if they wanted anything from this game. They were awarded a lifeline in the seventy-third minute when they won a penalty. Dinh Than Trung stepped up. Cool as you like. 1-2. Game on for the final sixteen minutes. Two minutes later, against all odds, Quang Nam equalised. Ha Minh Tuan got the goal and he also gave Quang Nam the belief they could go on and win it. Not today. Final score: Quang Nam 2-2 HAGL.

Binh Duong & Quang Nam Play Out A Magnificent Battle

Buoyed by their rousing comeback against HAGL, Quang Nam played host to a Becamex Binh Duong side who hadn’t been at the races at all in recent weeks. A golden opportunity for Quang Nam to finally get a win on the board. To say it was as a topsy-turvy game doesn’t quite do it justice. Dinh Thanh Trung put Quang Nam one up after thirteen minutes. That lead lasted seven minutes. Nguyen Tien Linh levelled. Dinh Thanh Trung put Quang Nam back in the lead five minutes before the break. That lead lasted four minutes. Nguyen Tien Linh levelled. Halftime – are you starting to see a pattern?

Perhaps the biggest surprise of the second half was there wasn’t a goal for the first twenty-seven minutes. With twenty-eight second-half minutes on the clock, Thiago Papel put Quang Nam in the lead for the third time. You know what’s on its way. That lead lasted eight minutes. Le Tan Tai levelled for Binh Duong. Less than two minutes after Binh Duong’s third equaliser, Dinh Thanh Trung scored an excellent solo goal to put Quang Nam 4-3 up. Surely that’s the end of that? Of course, it wasn’t. Nguyen Tien Linh wasn’t to be outdone by Dinh Thanh Trung as he made it 4-4 with five minutes left. What a game. Final score: Quang Nam 4-4 Becamex Binh Duong.

Quang Nam Fail To Hold On To ANOTHER Lead

A difficult away trip to face Song Lam Nghe An (SLNA) is how this story finishes. On what I believe was his debut, Warley Oliveira put Quang Nam into the lead nine minutes after kick-off. Yet again, they couldn’t see the game out. Admittedly, eighty-one minutes is a lot longer than seven minutes, but even still. Learn to defend. Cao Xuan Thang levelled three minutes before the break. Michael Olaha completed the turnaround shortly after the second-half kicked off. That was the end of that chapter. Final score: SLNA 2-1 Quang Nam.

One More Thing

Quang Nam are trying to fix their team. They’ve replaced Claudecir with Warley Oliviera which is a muchness of a muchness. Both Brazilian strikers. Both play in a similar way. I’m not going to bring you any stats from one of Quang Nam’s games as their problems are there for all to see without me going stat-mad.

If I was a betting man and luckily I am, I’d be backing Quang Nam to finish in the bottom two next season.

Until the next time.