Viet Nam News
HÀ NỘI — FLC Thanh Hóa completed their first hat trick of the season, after winning the V.League’s third match yesterday, by defeating Long An 2-1 on their home turf.
The result strengthens their first place position in the ranking table, with a perfect nine points.
It was not a difficult match for the hosts, although their captain, Omar, could not take part due to his being banned from eight matches, while three other regular players, Ngô Hoàng Thịnh and Nguyễn Tăng Tuấn, could not play due to injuries.
Still, they dominated the game from the beginning with consecutive attacks to Long An’s goalkeeper Nguyễn Minh Nhật.
Lê Quốc Phương, Nguyễn Trọng Hoàng and Đinh Tiến Thành tested Nhật’s skills with both long- and short-distance kicks, but their finishes were not strong enough to score goals.
Uche Iheruome opened the scoring at the 63rd minute with a powerful header, after he received a pass from Phương on the left wing.
Three minutes later, the score was doubled for the hosts when Hoàng Văn Bình broke into the penalty area and his left-leg finish found the net.
Long An pushed up their front line and narrowed the score five minutes before the end.
Hoàng Danh Ngọc’s long kick touched the ground then changed direction and beat keeper Nguyễn Thanh Thắng, who failed to react to save his goal.
Another host, Hải Phòng, also enjoyed victory when they defeated Quảng Ninh Coal 2-0 in a match that was considered a derby of the Northeast region.
Hải Phòng’s Lạch Tray Stadium has been a difficult venue for all teams, and yesterday was no different for National Super Cup winner Quảng Ninh.
Just two minutes into the game, Quảng Ninh’s fans were silent, as they witnessed Errol Anthony Stevens’ perfect solo performance from the right wing before sending a ball to Nguyễn Đình Bảo, who tapped it in from close range. Goalkeeper Huỳnh Tuấn Linh successfully saved the net for the visitors.
Hải Phòng played an exciting game yesterday, as their motivated players threatened Linh with numberless attempts, and they found the winning results at the 18th mark.
Stevens did not make any mistakes, as his canon shot assured that Linh had no chance.
The hosts’ second foreign striker, Fagan, made his trade during the early second half with a tap into the box.
Quảng Ninh fought back, and also created their own opportunities, but failed to score a single goal.
It was a day for the hosts, as Hà Nội FC also won. They beat Hoàng Anh Gia Lai 3-0 at Hàng Đẫy Stadium.
Hoàng Anh Gia Lai made several changes, as their key striker, Nguyễn Công Phượng, was pulled down to play as a midfielder, while his teammate Nguyễn Văn Toàn was placed highest in the front line.
But these changes did not help. Phượng could not find his first goal of the season, while his team suffered an early goal in the ninth minute by Hoàng Vũ Samson, who made it 2-0 just two minutes after the interval.
The third goal went to Alvaro Linares Silva, whose shot was too strong to be stopped at the 58th minute.
Hoàng Anh Gia Lai had almost no plan against the defending champions. Their only on-target shot belonged to 2016’s best young player, Vũ Văn Thanh, near the end of the first half.
The win pushed Hà Nội to the second position, with six points, while Hoàng Anh Gia Lai stayed at the bottom, with three losses in a row.
In the City-derby, the latest match in the third round HCM City saw Sài Gòn FC defeated 1-0, with the only goal scored by Victor Manuel Ormazabal in the 38th minute.
Earlier, former champions SHB Đà Nẵng drew 1-1 with neighbouring Quảng Nam FC. Two-time winners Sông Lam Nghệ An tied 2-2 against Sanna Khánh Hòa. And Becamex Bình Dương defeated Cần Thơ 5-1.
The fourth round will be held on Sunday, after which, the teams will enjoy a 20-day break to celebrate the Lunar New Year with families. — VNS