Sài Gòn FC struggled at Gò Đậu Stadium and fell to a 3-1 defeat to the home team Becamex Bình Dương. — Photo thanhnien.vn
HCM CITY — Despite losing to Becamex Bình Dương and losing their position at the top of the V.League 1 table, Sài Gòn FC still have a good chance of winning the league, said the team's coach and president Vũ Tiến Thành after the 3-1 defeat on Wednesday.
"We lost this match, but our chance to win is still very high. Now we need to focus on each game. The chances of winning are still divided equally among every club."
Sài Gòn played well in the first 20 minutes before goalkeeper Phạm Văn Phong made a terrible mistake and allowed Tống Anh Tỷ's weak shot to slip under him for the first goal.
Forced to find an equalising goal, Sài Gòn pushed forward and left gaps in the back with Bình Dương’s Nguyễn Trần Việt Cường and Nguyễn Tiến Linh exploited for two more goals.
Bình Dương also marked Sài Gòn's star Brazilian forward tightly Paulo Pedro, leading to a tough outing for Sài Gòn’s leading scorer.
The visitors then changed their tactics to focus their attacking play on their other Brazilian forward Geovane Magno, but he was unlucky in front of goal, striking the woodwork no less than three times.
Sài Gòn could only manage a late consulate goal from substitute Võ Nguyên Hoàng in the 92nd minute.
"Sài Gòn were forced to push up after conceding the early goal, leading to a very high risk of counter-attack, which was applied so well by Bình Dương", Thành explained.
"I think at this stage, every match is final, we had to score and I asked the players to push forward. But our attack was ineffective.
“Paulo Pedro has just come back from injury, so for him to show high form like he used to in the first phase of the V.League 1 is very difficult. We were also unlucky when the ball hit the crossbar and the post three times," he added.
This second defeat of the season caused Sài Gòn to lose the top spot to Viettel who beat HCM City FC 1-0.
On October 19, there will be a derby match between Sài Gòn and HCM City at Thống Nhất Stadium. Sài Gòn beat their rivals one-nil in the first half of the season. — VNS