DA NANG (VNS)— Midfielder Pham Huu Phat fired a cannon shot to net the ball and help hosts Hai Phong Cement win 2-1 over Sai Gon Xuan Thanh in the 9th round of the national football championship V-League yesterday.
The crucial goal came in the 80th minute for Hai Phong when they fought back to win the game. The win took it to second place on the table with 17 points – two points behind V-League leaders Song Lam Nghe An.
Hai Phong team played an offensive game with Brazilian strikers Antonio Carlos and Gilberto Fortuno, but they were shocked by the first goal from the visiting team.
In the 32nd minute, Uganda's Geoffrey Baba Kizito scored to help visiting team Sai Gon Xuan Thanh lead 1-0.
Kizito, 20, met his teammate Nguyen Rogerio's cross in the box to punish Hai Phong's goalkeeper Tran Xuan Viet.
The hosts regrouped to equalise the game, but Brazilian Gilberto missed many clear opportunities in the first half.
After the break, Hai Phong kept their momentum. However, the visiting team's defence and national team goalie Bui Tan Truong blocked all the way.
In the 63rd minute, Gilberto made a perfect free-kick to bury the ball at the back of the net, equalising the game.
The Brazilian duo Gilberto and Antonio then missed two chances to score in the 70th and 73rd minutes.
In a quick counterattack 10 minutes to the final whistle, midfielder Phat launched a rocket to score a crucial goal for Hai Phong.
In AFC Cup football news yesterday, Vendry Moro's stoppage-time strike sent Semen Padang into the quarter-finals after the Indonesian Premier League champions posted a 2-1 comeback win over Vietnamese counterparts SHB Da Nang.
Argentinian striker Sebastian Gaston Merlo opened the scoring for Group G runners-up Da Nang after 31 minutes. Then Liberian striker Edward Junior Wilson pulled Semen level in first-half stoppage time with his 9th goal of the campaign.
With extra-time looming, Moro was on hand to turn home Hengki Ardiles' cross to seal the win as Group E winners Semen extended their unbeaten record in the competition with a sixth win. — VNS