V.League: HCM City build on top spot after win at Quang Ninh Coal

Chung Hae-seong’s Ho Chi Minh City further consolidated their grip on top of the V.League table following their 2-1 win at Quang Ninh Coal in an early matchday 10 clash on May 17.

HCM City's Vinicius in action during their match with Quang Ninh Coal.
HCM City's Vinicius in action during their match with Quang Ninh Coal.

>>> V.League preview: Race for top spot heats up

Inspired by an unbeaten home streak since the beginning of the season, Quang Ninh Coal were determined to stop the flying run of HCM City, who had gone nine games with six wins, two draws and just one loss.

However, the home side’s ambition was dealt a big blow as they were forced to concede the first goal after 11 minutes, with Vinicius punishing centre back Lastro’s mistake by slotting the ball in from close range to open the scoring for the guests.

Phan Thanh Hung’s troops pushed hard for an equaliser and their efforts paid off in the 36th minute with Mac Hong Quan’s simple strike in the box.

With the pressure relieved, the hosts proactively strengthened their attacks and created two clear-cut chances to score shortly before half-time, which were regretfully not taken by Quach Tan and Kouassi.

The second half saw retaliatory attacks from both sides. Trung Hieu came close to scoring a second goal for Quang Ninh Coal as he hit the woodwork six minutes after the hour mark, before Mac Hong Quan struck the post nine minutes later.

The wasted opportunities forced Phan Thanh Hung’s side to pay dearly. Two minutes into injury time, substitute Ngo Hoang Thinh drove a low shot from the edge of the box into the left bottom corner to seal a 2-1 victory for HCM City.

The last-gasp win helped Chung Hae-seong’s troops to continue solidifying their dominance atop the table five points clear of reigning champions Hanoi FC, who will host SHB Da Nang on Sunday.