16:33 | 17/07/2017 Society
Nam Dinh has officially been promoted to the V-League next season after beating Viettel with the close score of 1-0 in the 2nd last round of the 2017 National First Division Tournament on July 15.
Nam Dinh fans had been waiting for seven years to see their favourite football team return to the national top-tier league for Vietnam’s strongest clubs; and now their long-awaited dreams have come true.
A solitary goal scored by Viet Tu in the 24th minute was enough to gift Nam Dinh the win needed to secure them a direct place in the 2018 V-League despite there being one round left to play.
After 13 rounds, Nam Dinh won a total of 23 points, three points ahead of second-place team Hue FC, who still have one game in hand.
Nam Dinh’s direct promotion will not be affected regardless of the result of the 14th clash between Hue and Dak Lak, as the northern team overwhelmed Hue in head-to-head meetings so far in the tournament, with a 1-1 draw in the first leg and a 3-1 victory in the second leg.
The last time Nam Dinh competed in Vietnam’s top-tier football competition was seven years ago under the name of Megastar Nam Dinh. At that time, Nam Dinh and Song Lam Nghe An remained the only two teams to be present in all V-League seasons since 2000.
Nguyen Ngoc Hao, who led Nam Dinh to the runner-up finish at the V-League 2004, returned to manage his hometown in the 2010 season’s first leg, but failed to save Nam Dinh from being relegated as V-League bottom-place finishers. That poor result forced Hao to quit the “hot seat” as the team’s manager once again.
The northern team went on to be relegated further after landing in bottom position at the 2011 First Division tournament. It was not until four years later that Nam Dinh resumed their First Division campaign.
Despite securing a place in next year’s V-League season, there is still a lot of work for Nam Dinh manager Nguyen Van Sy and his players to do if they want to survive on the toughest playing ground in Vietnamese football.