V.League 1-2021 Matchweek 6

Cong Phuong inspires HAGL towards fabulous win against HCM City

Monday, 2021-03-29 09:39:46
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HAGL striker Nguyen Cong Phuong (in white) finds the back of the net for the second consecutive match. (Photo: VPF)
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NDO – Popular striker Nguyen Cong Phuong was on target after coming off the bench to steer Hoang Anh Gia Lai (HAGL) to a fantastic 3-0 home victory over Ho Chi Minh (HCM) City in V.League 1 on March 28.

Alexandre Polking’s side travelled to Pleiku Stadium with many psychological impacts. They conceded three unanswered goals against Hanoi FC in the previous round, while one of their key players, Ngo Hoang Thinh, has been suspended for nine months as a punishment for his brutal tackle on Hanoi’s Do Hung Dung. In addition, Polking’s tactic of taking attack to offset defence is showing problems as no HCM City player has scored twice or above since the beginning of the season, making them the third worst attacking lineup in V.League 1 (three goals), only above bottom-placed Hong Linh Ha Tinh and city rivals Saigon FC (two goals).

Meanwhile, HAGL were in good mood after an impressive run of three wins and one draw after their first five clashes, which placed them on top of the table with one point clear.

Kiatisuk’s side utilised their home-field and psychological advantage to produce an overwhelming start against the southern guests on Sunday. They threated to score in the 18th minute as forward Nguyen Van Toan burst down the right flank before passing the ball to unmarked Brandao in the penalty area; however, the foreigner wasted this golden chance by rifling a shot at the crossbar.

HAGL forward Nguyen Van Toan in action during the match. (Photo: VPF)

With the stalemate lasting through two thirds of the first half, Cong Phuong again proved himself to be a factor that always knows how to make the difference. Only three minutes after appearing on the field, the No. 10 beat goalkeeper Thanh Thang with a left-footed curler to the far bottom left corner to open the scoring for Kiatisuk’s side.

It was Phuong’s second goal in this year’s season and also the second consecutive match he found the back of the net.

Inspired by the opener, HAGL continued to dominate the game in the second half and added two more goals in the last 15 minutes.

Cong Phuong celebrates with teammate Van Toan after opening the scoring for HAGL. (Photo: VPF)

In the 76th minute, HCM City’s defensive line rose too high, leaving a large blank in the back yard. Brandao chipped a delightful through ball to forward-bursting Van Toan, who dribbled the ball past keeper Thanh Thang before slotting it into the empty net to double the hosts’ advantage.

Six minutes later, HAGL’s Tran Minh Vuong was fouled by Pham Hoang Lam in the box. The No. 8 midfielder successfully converted the resulting penalty to seal a 3-0 win for Kiatisuk’s side, helping them sit firmly on top of the table with 13 points.

On the same day, Quang Ninh Coal trounced Hai Phong FC 2-0 away to move within one point off the leaders, while Viettel FC claimed third place with a 1-0 away win against Song Lam Nghe An.

Saigon FC had a sad trip to Nam Dinh FC as they conceded three straight goals to the northern side.

Three remaining clashes of Matchweek 6 will take place later today, with Thanh Hoa FC, Topenland Binh Dinh and Hanoi FC set to host SHB Da Nang, Becamex Binh Duong and Hong Linh Ha Tinh FC, respectively.