What did int’l media say about the return of Vietnamese football? hinh anh 1Turkish newspaper writes about Vietnamese football (Screenshot)

Hanoi (VNA) - After a temporary pause due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Vietnamese football has officially returned with a match between Nam Dinh and Hoang Anh Gia Lai for the National Cup qualifier.

This match not only received the attention of local fans, but grabbed an international football audience, too. International crowds watched from pandemic-stricken countries as the Vietnamese football league filled out Thien Truong Stadium with a 10,000-strong crowd.

Witnessing what happened in the stadium, Turkey's Futbol Arena site published an article attached to photos of Vietnamese fans outside the field before the match started.

In an article titled "The match with 15,000 spectators amid Covid-19,” the author wrote: "While many tournaments have been halted because of the COVID-19 pandemic or must take place on the field without spectators like in Germany, 15,000 fans were allowed to watch the match between Nam Dinh and Hoang Anh Gia Lai in Vietnam, the country that previously halted football activities in March."

The Futbol Arena website also posted: "So far, Vietnam has recorded 324 cases of coronavirus infection, but no deaths have been reported."

Meanwhile, the Thai version of ‘Goal’ described the stands on Thien Truong stadium as ‘very lively’ with the enthusiastic cheering of more than 10,000 spectators, all of whom had been measured body temperature and disinfected before entering the stadium. 

"The situation in Vietnam has improved significantly after recording 324 cases, including 267 recoveries and no deaths. This has helped Vietnamese football return to the first leg of the National Cup."

Returning to the match at Thien Truong stadium, Nam Dinh’s performance improved, and won 2-0, winning the right to go forward.

In this match, Raphaelson and Mai Xuan Quyet took turns scoring to bring the victory to the southern team.

What did int’l media say about the return of Vietnamese football? hinh anh 2Fans at Thien Truong stadium of Nam Dinh province (Photo: Nguyen An / Vietnam +)

Coach Nguyen Van Sy of Nam Dinh football club said: "Hoang Anh Gia Lai has now changed the way of playing, their attacks are more diverse. It is no surprised that this team has won four points in the first two matches of the V-League 2020. It is a difficult opponent. We respect them, and we have to prepare very well for the upcoming match.”

On Sunday (May 24), there will be four matches: An Giang - Long An, Hue - SHB Da Nang, Ba Ria Vung Tau - Saigon and Song Lam Nghe An - Binh Dinh.

On Monday (May 25), five matches will take place: Dong Thap - Hai Phong, Pho Hien - Thanh Hoa, Khanh Hoa - Viettel, Binh Phuoc - Dak Lak, Hong Linh Ha Tinh - Tay Ninh. Except for the battle between Binh Phuoc and Dak Lak teams in the first division, the remaining four pairs continue to confront one another between V.League and First Division teams. Hong Linh Ha Tinh is the only V.League representative to play at home ground, so they are expected to dominate; while in the remaining pairs, there is the potential for more surprises when the First-Class teams have a mental advantage if they are allowed by the provincial People's Committee to open the door to the audience (most likely Dong Thap and S. Khanh Hoa will play without an audience).

There is another notable detail in the qualifying round of the Bamboo Airways 2020 Cup: It is allowed to replace up to five players (for three turns) per team per match for the first time. Whether the teams will take advantage of this new rule (for a physical and tactical advantage) is worth the wait to see./.