|Tussle: Hoang Anh Gia Lai and Thanh Hoa players vie for the ball. Thanh Hoa won 2-1. — Photo ktdt.vn
HA NOI (VNS) — The coach of Thanh Hoa, Vu Quang Bao, said that his team's 2-1 win over national favourites Hoang Anh Gia Lai (HAGL) on Saturday did not surprise him.
"I am not amazed by our team's victory. We anticipated that our rival would attack repeatedly from the first minute of the match and that we could be behind in the first half," Bao said.
"The team changed tactics in the second half. We focused on defeating the two wings of HAGL, which were their weaknesses. Since we did that, we made breakthroughs and scored two indispensable goals," Bao added.
During this third round Toyota V-League 1 match in the home turf of Pleiku Stadium, HAGL played comfortably and took the lead with a goal by Le Hoang Thien in the 33rd minute. But after the break, Huynh Van Thanh and Hoang Dinh Tung scored two goals for the visiting team in the 55th and 67th minutes.
"Our team won this game because it has more experience than HAGL," Bao said, adding, "I don't have any complaints against the referees."
Within 10 minutes of the first half of the game on Saturday, referee Phung Dinh Dung issued four yellow cards to Thanh Hoa.
Furthermore, coach Guillaume Graechen of HAGL noted, "If we had taken complete advantage of the chances we had in the first half, we would have led 3-0. The result would have been different then.
"The defensive line has always been our weak point. Players were neither stable, nor in full command of their faculties. It was not only striker Nguyen Cong.
"Phuong who didn't perform well, but the entire team," the French coach admitted.
In the fourth round of the tournament, HAGL will meet LG Hai Phong, who tied goalless with Sanna Khanh Hoa BVN, on January 21.
In other matches in the V-League, Can Tho lost to Quang Ninh Coal 2-3; Dong Tam Long An tied with Song Lam Nghe An 1-1; Becamex Binh Duong defeated Da Nang 3-2; Ha Noi T&T drew with Quang Nam 4-4; and Dong Thap bested Dong Nai 4-1. — VNS