HCM CITY — Hoang Anh Gia Lai prepared perfectly for the new V-League season by sealing victory at the third HCM City Football Federation tournament after beating NaviBank Sai Gon 6-5 in a penalty shootout at Thong Nhat Stadium yesterday.
Hoang Anh Gia Lai, who went undefeated in the tournament, received a prize of VND250 million ($13,500) while NaviBank Sai Gon pocketed VND150 million ($8,100).
Both teams played quite aggressively in the first half and created some good opportunities.
Hoang Anh Gia Lai’s Brazlian striker Evaldo Rodrigues Goncaves hit the left upright in the tenth minute while the host team’s Pinto De Silva Marcelo forced Gia Lai goalkeeper Michal Sihavy to dive for a save in the 20th minute. However, at half-time there was no score on the board.
Many more chances were missed in the second-half. Hoang Anh Gia Lai was closest with a shot by Ho Van Thuan hitting the crossbar inside the box, leading to a nail-biting penalty shoot-out.
In the earlier third-place match, Dong Thap beat HCM City football club 3-0. Sunday Chibuike IBeji’s scored two and Samson Kayode netted a third to send the team home with VND100 million (US$5,400).
The tournament, which featured eight teams including one foreign team, was a warm-up for football clubs prior to the new V-League and First Division seasons. — VNS