V. League second leg schedule gives top teams an edge

By Hoang Nguyen   September 18, 2020 | 06:16 pm PT
V. League second leg schedule gives top teams an edge
Thanh Hoa FC (in yellow) plays Saigon FC in the ninth fixture of V. League 1 on July 12, 2020. Photo courtesy of Vietnam Football Joint Stock Company.
The new schedule and format for V. League’s second leg will deliver certain advantages for the leading teams of each group.

As confirmed before, the V. League tournaments will start the second leg with a different format from the first. In the second leg, the top eight teams of the first leg will be placed in group A and compete to find the champion, while the bottom six will start a relegation battle in group B.

The organizers of the leagues have sent a code to every club. These codes will be used to classify the top teams with the lower teams. Accordingly, the top four teams of group A in V. League 1 will get to play more games at their home stadium (four games) than the remaining three clubs (three games). In V. League 2, the top three clubs will get to play three matches at home, while clubs that placed from fourth to sixth will only get two.

For group B of V. League 1, the top three clubs will get three home games each and the remaining three, two each. The same goes for group B in V. League 2.

Based on the codes designated for each team, the club that is placed first will receive the most benefit as they will play the second, third, fifth and sixth club at home. The only away game they have to play is with the fourth club.

The clubs in the second and third positions will get to play two consecutive home games at the beginning. In case the leading club fails to get a win out in their away games, the title race will get more interesting.

For the relegation battle in group B, the three top teams have a very high chance of getting to safe ground early, with the home advantage that they’ve been given, while the bottom three will have to fight hard for survival.

This means that the remaining two fixtures of V. League 1’s first leg (on September 26) will be vital to the fate of some clubs. Their performance in these matches will decide whether they are part of the title race or the relegation battle.

V. League 1 will resume on September 26 after a two-month break forced by the Covid-19 pandemic resurfacing in late July.

In the second leg, group A is expected to complete its fixtures on November 8 and group B a week later.

After 11 rounds, Saigon FC leads the table with 23 points, and Quang Nam is at the bottom with eight.

V. League 2 will resume on September 25, while the National Cup resumed on September 11.

The Vietnam Football Joint Stock Company (VPF) will let organizers decide whether or not to allow spectators in to view the matches. It requires every player to have Covid-19 tests done and the results to be sent to the organizers three days before a game.

The VPF has said it would require a minimum of 60 days to finish all the remaining matches this season.

Vietnam has recorded no community transmission of the novel coronavirus in more than two weeks. The current national Covid-19 tally is 1,066, with 35 deaths.

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