Sometimes in life, you have to question why on earth you’ve wasted your time doing something. Yesterday, I made the trip to Nha Trang to watch Sanna Khanh Hoa versus Hai Phong. It’s a simple enough journey, forty-five minutes on a plane, forty-five minutes to the ground from the airport. Job is a goodun. Well, that is until VietJet decide to play silly buggers. My flight was scheduled to take off at 12:45, which leaves me with more than enough time to make it to the ground, considering it didn’t kick-off until 17:00. Easy, right? Ha. Think again.

Just before I left for the airport, I checked my emails amongst other things only to see a change of itinerary. We were now due to take off at 13:45. Not the end of the world, still more than enough time to get there. I had another hour at home then made a move to the airport. I’m not one of those who likes to get to the airport six hours before a flight just to be sure. Never have understood why people do that, especially when you can check-in online. So, I got to the airport at 13:00. There was a sizable queue at the document check thingy, but nothing too alarming. While I was waiting in line, I thought I’d have a butchers at the departure board. New take off time 14:15. Still enough time. Just.

Is Your Name Raul?

The plane didn’t take off until 14:45. Wonderful. I got outside Cam Ranh International Airport for 15:50. The race was on. According to Google Maps, the stadium was forty-nine minutes away. I ordered a Grab (SE Asia’s version of Uber) and waited. Some bloke said is your name Raul (I hadn’t changed it back from the whole Mexico phase) and I was like yeah yeah. He walked off after telling me to wait a minute. I presumed he was going to get his car. After wasting five minutes waiting for him, I realised he wasn’t coming back. Not sure what he was doing. It was now the wrong side of 16:00 so I got in a taxi at the rank and off we went. 16:52 was the scheduled time of arrival. Cutting it fine.

Two Minutes To Spare

We hit a bit of traffic along the beachfront, however, after some questionable decisions from the driver, I made it with two minutes to spare. I took my seat just as the national anthem was being played. Now, let’s hope for a good game. A few goals, some crunching tackles and we’re good to go. If you’re after the short version, the game finished goalless. All that hassle for a nil-nil draw. Fabulous.

In the first-half, Sanna Khanh Hoa had 56% of the ball and looked the more likely of the two. A few half-chances here and a few dangerous crosses there, nothing that particularly worked Hai Phong’s keeper, though. While Hai Phong may have had the deadly partnership of Errol Stevens and Andre Fagan up top, they were no match for the imperious Chaher Zarour. He’s Sanna Khan Hoa’s skipper for good reason.

Youssouf Toure Should Have Won It Late On

Hai Phong’s biggest problem was the fact that they were sitting far too deep. Without fail, Sanna Khanh Hoa would play it short from the goal kick and then build. It was laughable at times. Laughable I tell you! They rectified that in the second half and had a lot more of the ball, 57% to be precise. Nonetheless, the fact they had half the number of shots on target (two) than that of Sanna Khanh Hoa should tell you the story on its own.

Hai Phong were happy with the point. I didn’t understand it then and I don’t understand it now. What’s the point? It’ll take a bizarre set of results for them to be dragged properly into the relegation dogfight, so why not just go for it? Sanna Khanh Hoa did go for it. Big time. A combination of exquisite goalkeeper and poor decision making meant that Sanna Khanh Hoa couldn’t get the goal they were after. That now means that Ha Noi can win the league when the league restarts in September. They’ve just got the small task of beating SLNA. They’re on fire at the moment. FIRE!

Another Flight, Another Delay

Much to my dismay, my flight back was delayed until 01:00 on the way home. It didn’t take off until 03:00. Not only was this annoying because I couldn’t write my Joao Moutinho article last night, it was also ridiculously irritating because nobody had a scooby what was going on. I asked one bloke and he said “maybe it’ll come in ten-minutes”, cheers mate. Top help. Will I be going there again for another game? Of course, I will! It’s what dreams are made of!

Until the next time.