|Ha Noi T&T proved their title defence credentials by thrashing Hoang Anh Gia Lai (HAGL) 4-1 in Pleiku to maintain their perfect start to the season.— Photo thethao
HA NOI (VNS) — Ha Noi T&T proved their title defence credentials by thrashing Hoang Anh Gia Lai (HAGL) 4-1 in Pleiku to maintain their perfect start to the season.
Attacking midfielder Nguyen Van Quyet grabbed a double while strikers Samson Kayode and Nguyen Ngoc Duy scored a goal each for the defending champions, while the hosts consolation goal came from Anjembe Timothy.
Coach Phan Thanh Hung's team now have a maximum of six points from two games.
The match was HAGL's first of the season, and they started the game looking determined to make a statement against last year's V-League winners.
Despite enjoying the majority of possession, HAGL were unable to create any clear-cut opportunities. Instead it was the visitors who had the first chance when skillful midfielder Quyet fed the ball to Argentine striker Gonzalo Marronkle, but his powerful shot was saved by HAGL's keeper Akpan.
The effectiveness and hard work of Hector Vaghaun and Quyet in midfield combined with the speed and movement of strikers Kayode and Gonzalo turned the game in T&T's favour.
In the 24th minute, Quyet proved why he is regarded as one of the best players in the league with an extraordinary goal.
From a floating pass from the right flank, the 23-year-old player collected the ball with his instep and volleyed the ball past Bassey Akpan into the far corner.
HAGL tried to respond to the setback, but Anjembe was only able to blast the ball over having skipped through the T&T defence.
T&T started the second half strongly and it took only 12 minutes for them to double their lead.
From a powerful throw-in from the right flank, Gonzalo headed the ball back into the box and Kayode rose high to head the ball into the top corner.
HAGL brought on striker Le Hoang Thien and the young striker breathed new life into Gia Lai's ineffective frontline. The hosts were rewarded with a penalty in the 65th minute, and Anjembe stepped up to easily wrong-footed T&T goalkeeper Duong Hong Son to reduce the deficit to 2-1.
HAGL's game livened up after the goal and they almost levelled before Duy ended any hopes of a comeback for HAGL.
Home fans were already leaving the stadium when Quyet compounded South Korean coach Choi Yoon-gyum's misery in stoppage time with his second goal to seal the match 4-1.
In the day's other match, Quang Ninh Coal stunned Ninh Binh 3-1. — VNS