Afternoon. If you were to take a look at your watch, it should read Ho Chi Minh City O’Clock at this present moment. This is number four of the V-League recap as we take a look at the fortunes of every club over the last five games. Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC for the rest of this article) are sitting fourth bottom, yet, they are only two points off the foot of the table. Fortunately, for the purpose of this article, I’ve seen three of HCMC’s last fiveis  games, so hopefully, you should have a half-decent idea about the side after we’re done here.

Nam Dinh Nick All Three Points

I don’t have to tell you too much about HCMC’s clash with Nam Dinh as it was covered yesterday in the Nam Dinh review. So, what I’m going to do is refer you to this link here and that’ll tell you all about it. For those of you that can’t be arsed to click the link for whatever the reason – let me give you a swift overview.

Matias Jadue gave HCMC a deserved home lead early on. It was all going rather well. That was until Nguyen Huu Tuan got two yellow cards in quick succession to put Nam Dinh in the driving seat. Half-time substitute, Kesley Alves, conceded a daft penalty and once that hit the back of the net, Nam Dinh were always going to win and that’s exactly what happened. Final score: Ho Chi Minh City 1-2 Nam Dinh.

Kesley Leaves It Late

We’re in a similar situation here with this game as well. HCMC’s next game was against Can Tho, you can read a more in-depth version of that game here. Once again, if you can’t be arsed, have a brief report here. Can Tho raced into a three-goal lead with little over half an hour on the clock. Following on from the Nam Dinh performance with a performance like this – not good. Tran Phi Son (who is unbelievably talented) got what seemed to be a consolation goal for HCMC before the interval.

With the game fizzling out, Matias Jadue made it 3-2… And then BANG! Kesley Alves struck in the last minute of stoppage time to break Can Tho hearts. Football is amazing, isn’t it? Final score: Ho Chi Minh City 3-3 Can Tho.

Honours Even In Thu Dau Mot

Becamex Binh Duong have fallen quite hard since the start of the World Cup. Remember how I said Romario was the best thing since sliced bread? They’ve got rid of him. I’m still not sure why as he was an absolute terror. Becamex’s time will come, let’s keep the spotlight on HCMC. Ho Sy Giap gave the hosts an early lead after some questionable defending from the HCMC defence. One of the things that I couldn’t quite get my head around was the fact that Kesley was left on the bench again. I understand he’s getting on a bit, but bloody hell, he’s head and shoulders above the majority of other players.

With HCMC trailing at the break, Miura had to make a decision. Bring Kesley on now or leave it for a bit? He went for the former. For the second game running, Kesley scored after coming off the bench. If I’m honest, after Kesley brought HCMC back into the game, they looked more likely than Becamex to nick the win. Funny, isn’t it? Becamex Binh Duong have gone from demolishing defending champions Quang Nam to drawing with relegation fodder. Bizarre. Final score: Becamex Binh Duong 1-1 Ho Chi Minh City.

Goals Galore in Ha Noi

Considering the from HCMC were showing, the last place you need to be going is Ha Noi. it went exactly as you would’ve expected as well. Nguyen Van Quyet and Nguyen Quang Hai put Ha Noi into a 2-0 lead come the break. For some reason, Kesley was once against left on the bench. In similar fashion, he was brought on at halftime. Could he change the game once again?

A substitute did change the game. It just so happened that it was a Ha Noi sub. Samson was brought on for Oseni and HCMC simply couldn’t handle him. Two goals in two minutes put Ha Noi 4-0 up. Game over. Matias Jadue got a consolation with eleven minutes left. Then Samson got involved again. Another two goals, this time in three minutes. Unreal. 6-1. There was still time for Matias Jadue to get his second and Marclei Santos to get a debut goal. A surreal final fifteen minutes saw five goals. Final score: Ha Noi 6-3 Ho Chi Minh City.

Drama Against Da Nang

To say this game was fucking mental would be a huge understatement. It had everything. For starters, Kesley was named in the starting XI! If that doesn’t tell you it’s going to be a superb game, then nothing will. HCMC knew they needed a win. So, when Ewonde scored with a header against the run of play from a corner, it wasn’t good. Things went from bad to worse when Da Nang scored with another header three minutes later. Ha Duc Chinh was the man on the scoresheet this time. At this point, disgruntled HCMC fans displayed a ‘Miura out’ banner. Dang Van Robert pulled a goal back, funnily enough, with a header, ten minutes before halftime – the banner disappeared.

It was wave after wave of HCMC attacks in the second-half. Eventually, there was a breakthrough. HCMC got awarded a questionable penalty (I’ve not seen it back) and up stepped Matias Jadue. No pressure. GOOOOAL. 2-2. What followed next was farcical. Matias went to get the ball off the keeper to restart kick-off ASAP and the keeper lightly pushed him. He’d clearly been watching too much of Neymar as he rolled on the deck far too many times. Fucking joke. Then Le Van Hung (Da Nang’s keeper) ended up on the deck after receiving a kick of sorts. Guess what happened? Le Van Hung got sent off. Was never, ever the right decision. Matias Jadue got another two goals to complete his hat-trick before the game was out. Final score: Ho Chi Minh City 4-2 Da Nang.

One More Thing About Ho Chi Minh City

I had high hopes that HCMC could challenge for the top three this season. Even after watching their opening couple of games, they seemed to be somewhat a different animal. However, as the season has dragged on, they’ve looked progressively worse. They were very fortunate in the game against Da Nang as if Le Van Hung didn’t get sent off, it may well have been a different story. Regardless of that, HCMC did have 101 dangerous attacks in comparison to Da Nang’s 60, so the intent was there from Ho Chi Minh, I’m still not convinced, though.

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

Until the next time.