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Hanoi: QNK Quang Nam clinched their first V.League 1 title on Saturday after beating Ho Chi Minh City 3-1 following a nail-biting end to the season.

After the match, overjoyed coach Hoang Van Phuc said: “I want to share this championship with my mother.”

 Phuc also thanked Quang Nam fans and the club’s directors for their support this season. “Share this special victory with you wife and children, you deserve it.”

Taking the battle down to the wire on the final day, Ha Noi, Quang Nam and Thanh Hoa were locked on 45 points at the summit with Ha Noi leading the pack due to their superior goal difference.

With Quang Nam entering Saturday second in the standings, they knew a win over the city side would not be enough and needed other results to work in their favour to be triumphant.

Even with a man down after half an hour of play, Quang Nam were not derailed, scoring two goals before the interval and another 25 minutes later to claim the three points.

Dinh Tanh Trung kicked off proceedings with an early Quang Nam goal in the fifth minute but were later down to 10 men after Manh Toan Tran was sent off in the 30th minute.

Ha Minh Tuan doubled their lead before halftime before Tanh Trung scored a second goal in the 70th minute to put the home side 3-0 up.

Vo Duy Nam pulled one back for Ho Chi Min City with a goal deep into stoppage time.

Things did not go according to plan at the Cua Ong Stadium with defending champions Ha Noi throwing away a two-goal cushion to draw 4-4 with Than Quang Ninh, who were inspired by four-goal hero Rodion Dyachenko.

Speaking after the match, Ha Noi manager Chu Dinh Nghiem admitted predicting Quang Nam would be crowned champions right from the start of the season.

“At the beginning of the season, looking at their staff and strength of the opponents, I thought Quang Nam deserved to win the title.”said Nghiem

The result meant that Ha Noi finished two points off the pace, while Tanh Hoa also moved level on 48 points with Quang Nam following a 1-0 win over Song Lam Nghe An.

Tanh Hoa settled for second coming behind Quang Nam in the standings who had a better head-to-head record.

Sai Gon beat Hai Pong 3-0 to finish fourth with 43 points on par with Quang Ninh who came in fifth.

Source: Vietnam Football Federation