Vietnam's top-flight V-League began its new season on Sunday, with Arsenal-supported academy players of Hoang Anh Gia Lai (HAGL) club starring in their 4-2 win against newly-promoted Sanna Khanh Hoa.
The 10,000-seat home stadium in Gia Lai Province’s Pleiku Town was not big enough as many HAGL fans sat on parapets or stood on entrance/exit paths and on the grass near the pitch to watch the match.
They were eager to see the performance of HAGL, this season’s most-anticipated team, as it used talented under-19 players -- members of HAGL-Arsenal football academy -- for the V-League for the first time.
The young players didn’t let their fans down.
Midfielder Tuan Anh put HAGL ahead in the 26th minute and striker Cong Phuong, the most prominent prospect in the 2015 V-League, extended the hosts' lead in the 40th minute.
Midfielder Quoc Chi reduced the arrears for Sanna Khanh Hoa early in the second half before Xuan Truong and Cong Phuong netted further consolations in the 59th and 65th minutes.
The visitors Sanna Khanh Hoa got back another goal in the 73rd minute.
Results of other matches in the V-League’s first round
Becamex Binh Duong – Dong Thap: 6-1
Hanoi T&T – Dong Tam Long An: 1-1
Thanh Hoa – SHB Da Nang: 2-1
Song Lam Nghe An – Hai Phong: 0-3
Dong Nai – Than Quang Ninh: 0-2
XSKT Can Tho – QNK Quang Nam: 0-0