|Naturalised striker Hoang Vu Samson scored his second hattrick of the season to help Ha Noi T&T overcome hosts Hung Vuong An Giang 4-3 in the late match yesterday.— Photo tuoitre
AN GIANG (VNS) — Naturalised striker Hoang Vu Samson scored his second hattrick of the season to help Ha Noi T&T overcome hosts Hung Vuong An Giang 4-3 in the late match yesterday.
The Ha Noi-based team's other goal came from attacking midfielder Nguyen Van Quyet, who left the field immediately after scoring his sixth goal of the season due to injury.
Nigerian forward Felix Ajala, naturalised striker Dinh Hoang Max and substitute Vu Trong Thong was the scorers for An Giang.
With three points from their victory, the defending champions climbed to fourth place with 18 points after eight games with three games in hand on the leaders, while rock-bottom An Giang have now gone 11 matches without a single win.
Samson also overtook Nigerian striker Anjembe Timothy as the league's top scorer with 13 goals.
"The flight back from the Asian Confederations Cup wore our players out and we did not start the match well. Playing in the hot weather and conceding an early goal really caused us difficulties in the opening period," said T&T coach Phan Thanh Hung in the post-match conference.
While An Giang's assistant coach Nguyen Chau Hong admitted that Ha Noi deserved the win, he also praised his players.
"For the first time in the season scored the first goal, and against the defending champions, it really motivated us, but we could not stand firm against T&T's quality," said Hong.
It was a promising start for An Giang against one of the title contenders when Ajala opened the scoring just five minutes after the kick-off, but their happiness was short-lived when Samson equalised six minutes later with a close-range tap-in.
The home team opted for a counter-attacking game plan and sat back while T&T probed for an opening with the majority of the possession.
The hosts, who had only scored five goals before this match, once again went in front through Max, who capitalised on defender Nguyen Van Bien's failure to clear the ball.
Diminutive but skilful midfielder Nguyen Ngoc Duy almost drew the match level but his shot flew just over the bar.
The visiting team continued their domination in the second half and Quyet levelled the match after six minutes, beating keeper Tran Van Hoa with a snap shot after being released into the box by Ngoc.
Coach Nhan Thien Nhan urged his team on but they were left exposed at the back and Samson punished them, first with a header from Cao Sy Cuong's left corner and then a clever backheel.
Thong pulled a goal back with five minutes to go, giving the home fans a reason to wait for the final whistle, but they were left disappointed as T&T played the clock down without being threatened. — VNS