AFC Cup: Cong Phuong on target as HCM City draw 2-2 against Yangon United

Wednesday, 2020-02-12 14:50:13
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Forward Nguyen Cong Phuong (no. 21) celebrates with teammates after levelling the score 2-2 for Ho Chi Minh City. (Photo: HCM City FC)
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NDO – Forward Nguyen Cong Phuong scored for Ho Chi Minh City but the reigning V.League 1 runners-up were still held to a 2-2 draw by Myanmar’s Yangon United in their 2020 AFC Cup Group F opener at Thuwunna Stadium in Yangon on February 11.

Amido Balde gave HCM City an early advantage (12’) before the Myanmar representatives came from behind to lead 2-1 thanks to two goals from Uzochukwu (16’) and Maung Maung Win (18’).

On the stroke of halftime, Cong Phuong headed home to level up the score for Chung Hae-seong’s side (42’).

The two teams created a number of opportunities in the second half, but could not find the back of the net, leading to an inevitable 2-2 draw for both teams.

Yangon United had the better of the match after the first whistle, but it was HCM City who created the first chance to score. Balde made use of the hosts’ defensive mishap and dribbled into the box; however, his final shot was too soft to beat goalkeeper Kyaw Zin Htet.

Six minutes after the wasted golden opportunity, Balde redeemed himself with a powerful header from the centre of the penalty area to put the guests in front.

Yet, HCM City’s joy was short-lived, as Myanmar bounced back to score twice in the next few minutes to take a 2-1 advantage, with Uzochukwu heading home from a corner kick and Maung Maung Win firing a sensational strike from 30 metres out.

A number of opportunities are wasted by the two teams during their Tuesday match. (Photo: Yangon United FC)

In the remainder of the first half, HCM City strengthened their attacks while on the search for an equaliser. It was not until the 42nd minute that their ambition was materialised, with Cong Hien feeding a curler for favourite striker Cong Phuong to blast a well-placed header to restore the parity.

After the break, Yangon United turned up the pressure and created some concrete chances to resume their lead, which, however, they were wasted by Muang Muang Lwin (shooting the ball high from close range) and Uzochukwu (skewing a volley wide).

Captain Tran Phi Son was the guests’ most impressive performer in the second half, but his efforts were not enough to bring home the full three points for Chung Hae-seong’s side.

Despite their opening draw, both HCM City and Yangon United are highly favoured to advance to the next round as the remaining Group F competitors, Hougang United of Hong Kong (China) and Lao Toyota of Laos, are considered the underdogs in the group.

Next up for the V.League 1 runners-up will be an away clash against Hougang United on February 25.

The other Vietnamese representatives, Quang Ninh Coal, delivered a poor start to their 2020 AFC Cup campaign, conceding a 1-4 defeat against Indonesia’s Bali United in their Group G opening game later on Tuesday.