In the last game in the V. League 2 on Saturday, Quy Nhon Stadium was packed with Binh Dinh fans, who came to see if their team could get the win. Binh Dinh needed three points against Pho Hien FC to secure the title without having to care about other results, and, importantly, a place in the V. League 1 next year.
The club had dropped down from the V. League 1 12 years ago and even had the ignominy of playing briefly in the third division.
But this year, with the support of a new sponsor, Binh Dinh made major improvements, recruiting several players from the Vietnam U23 team.
They made their intention plain from the outset, starting offensively. But Pho Hien defended tightly, giving no space for Binh Dinh’s attackers.
But Binh Dinh still managed to create, and miss, many chances. It took 67 minutes for Vu Viet Trieu to head in to open the scoring. The heaving stadium exploded in joy after over an hour of tension and anxiety.
Binh Dinh continued to attack and did not let Pho Hien get back into the game.
The score remained 1-0 until the final whistle, and the V. League 2 trophy and promotion were Binh Dinh’s.
The team’s coach, Nguyen Duc Thang, had turned down many offers from V. League 1 clubs this season and stayed back to help Binh Dinh achieve promotion.
Binh Dinh FC players throw coach Nguyen Duc Thang in the air after winning the V. League 2 title and promotion to V. League 1 next year, October 31, 2020. Photo by VnExpress/Duc Dong.
“During tough times, the players showed resilience,” Thang said.
Though the squad had many young and inexperienced players, he forged a strong team that scored several wins at vital stages of the league.
“We don’t have the best players but our teamwork is the best, and that teamwork will continue when we play in the V. League 1,” Thang added.
They will replace Quang Nam FC, who were relegated after finishing last in group B in the V. League 1’s second leg.
Binh Dinh also won the VND1 billion ($43,174) prize that comes with the title.
The 2021 V. League 1 is expected to start in February.