|On song: Michael Olaha of Sông Lam Nghệ An (second, left) heads home the opener in his team’s 2-1 victory against Tampines Rovers yesterday in Vinh City. — Photo foxsportsasia.com|Viet Nam News
HÀ NỘI — Sông Lam Nghệ An beat Tampines Rovers 2-1 and edged closer to a slot in the Asian Football Confederation Cup’s knock-out stage yesterday.
The Vietnamese representative now has 10 points after five matches and top Group H. The Singapore team meanwhile is rooted at the bottom with only one point.
Despite fielding a young team, Sông Lam Nghệ An set the tempo from the off at the Vinh Stadium.
It took just 16 minutes to break the deadlock.
Nigerian Michael Olaha rose highest to meet a Đậu Thanh Phong corner and his bullet header had goalkeeper Muhammad Syazwan Bin Buhari beaten at the far post.
The goal rocked the visitor who piled on the pressure and equalised 10 minutes later.
The home side defended a corner but the ball dropped to Japanese midfielder Ryutaro Megumi who cross found Irfan Najeeb in the right place to loop a header over goalkeeper Lê Văn Hùng and bring the scores level.
Sông Lam Nghệ An’s U23 midfielder Phan Văn Đức were given two threatening chances near the interval but his attempts were denied by Buhari.
The visitors then came within a whisker of taking the lead early in the second half, but Khairul Amri’s effort hit the post and fell safely into the hands of keeper Hùng.
Đức and Ohala continued attacking Buhari’s net in the second half but it was Hồ Tấn Tài’s turn.
Fahrudin Mustafic of Tampines Rovers tried to clear a right-wing pass from Lê Thế Cường. His attempt however gave the ball to Tài who duly poked home.
With the win Sông Lam Nghệ An maintained their unbeaten home record.
They next head to Malaysia’s Johor Darul Ta’zim on April 24 in their final match of the group phrase.
Tampines Rovers on the other hand remain winless in this tournament. They will next host Persija Jakarta of Indonesia.
In Group G today, Vietnamese FLC Thanh Hóa will meet hosts Global Cebu FC of the Philippines at the McKinley Hill Stadium. In their first leg game, Thanh Hóa won 1-0 last month. — VNS