Viet Nam News
HÀ NỘI — Becamex Bình Dương inched closer to the final of the National Cup after beating SHB Đà Nẵng 3-1 in the first leg of the semi-finals yesterday.
Hòa Xuân Stadium, which is believed to be the holy land for Đà Nẵng, did not favour them this time.
The hosts took the lead in just two minutes after the first whistle.
Stealing a ball from the central area, Đỗ Merlo broke into Bình Dương’s box and beat goalkeeper Đức Cường easily with a shot to the right corner.
However, Đà Nẵng’s party did not last long.
The Việt Nam Golden Ball winner 2015 Nguyễn Anh Đức converted his teammate Pereira Diogo’s pass for the equaliser.
Their national U20 striker Nguyễn Tiến Linh made a solo performance in Bình Dương’s box and netted 2-1 in the 36th minute.
Coach Lê Huỳnh Đức of Đà Nẵng made several changes to his front line after the interval, but the substitutes did not improve their strength. Meanwhile, their defence continued to make mistakes.
About 10 minutes from the break, Diogo comfortably dribbled the ball from the right wing in front of Đà Nẵng’s box and scored the third goal for his team.
“My players made too many mistakes in their three recent matches. Their performance was not as good as I expected, while they are still not strong mentally. They could not find ways to solve their difficulties,” said coach Đức at the post-match conference, adding that their poor performance was attributed to the many injuries his players suffered.
“Injuries prevented my best players from competing. It strongly affected our playing style. Now, we have to play our best in the second-leg game,” he said.
The 3-1 victory helped coach Trần Bình Sự score a big advantage, ahead of their second-leg match on October 6, when Bình Dương play on their home soil at Gò Đậu Stadium.
“We just wanted a draw result in this match, but my players did a better job. I am satisfied with their spirit, and their high focus until the end,” said Sự.
“Bình Dương are now home to many young players after they said goodbye to experienced and veteran players, such as Đình Luật, Công Vinh and Trọng Hoàng. However, the youngsters are learning fast. They have integrated and caught up with the pace of the tournaments, better than the previous generation,” he said.
Sự said he had studied SHB Đà Nẵng’s style, which depended a lot on Merlo and Gramoz. “We know how to prevent them from playing comfortably and limit the balls passed to them. Their scoring chances were controlled. We were successful that way,” he said.
Sự’s club, who are playing poorly in the V.League, are ranked 12th out of 14 teams, and had set the target of being National Cup’s finalist this season.
In the other semis at Vinh Stadium in Nghệ An Province, Sông Lam Nghệ An trounced Quảng Nam 4-1.
Sông Lam Nghệ An are No. 10 in the V.League, while Quảng Nam made a stunning show with their second position, their best season ever in their history.
However, it was Sông Lam Nghệ An, the 2010 winner, which dominated the match from the beginning.
National defender Quế Ngọc Hải opened the score at the 31st mark.
Kovacevic Danko scored a double at the 49th and 83rd minutes. Olaha Michael Onydikachi’s goal was sandwiched between these winners.
Quảng Nam’s only goal went to Đinh Thanh Trung from a penalty kick at the73rd minute, although the visitors created many threatening opportunities.
Quảng Nam will host Sông Lam Nghệ An on October 6. They have to score at least four goals and give away none to have the chance of making it to the final. — VNS