V.League: HCM City’s title ambition dealt a big blow with second consecutive loss

Ho Chi Minh (HCM) City’s title ambition suffered a major dent as they slipped to a shock 0-2 defeat by Quang Nam FC in their V.League matchday 20 meeting on August 10.

Quang Nam FC players celebrate their victory. (Photo: VPF)
Quang Nam FC players celebrate their victory. (Photo: VPF)

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Hoang Vu Samson opened the scoring by converting a controversial penalty on the stroke of half-time before slotting in from close range in stoppage time to complete his double and secure a fabulous win for the 2017 champions.

HCM City arrived at Tam Ky Stadium with strong determination to redeem themselves following their humiliating 1-2 loss against bottom-place Sanna Khanh Hoa BVN last weekend. However, throughout the majority of the first half, they only managed one dangerous shot, with Ismaheel’s 26th-minute strike from 16 metres being stopped by Quang Nam keeper Pham Van Cuong.

The match’s turning point came in the 44th minute as HCM City defender Tung Quoc supposedly knocked down a Quang Nam player in the box, thus gifting the hosts a controversial penalty, which triggered strong protest from the guests’ coaching staff and players.

From the spot, Hoang Vu Samson easily beat goalie Thanh Thang to give Vu Hong Viet’s side a one-goal advantage.

After the break, HCM City used many long balls to pour pressure on the Quang Nam side. However, playing under impatience and frustration forced the title favourites to lose efficiency and accuracy in their attacks.

V.League: HCM City’s title ambition dealt a big blow with second consecutive loss ảnh 1

The two teams’ players in action during their match on August 10. (Photo: VPF)

In contrast, Quang Nam FC, left in a confident mood by the first-half opener, deployed counterattacks in an effective manner, closing in on a second goal in the 68th minute, but Rodrigo Da Silva failed to beat keeper Thanh Thang in a one-on-one.

Eight minutes later, the hosts were reduced to ten men as defender Duc Loc was indirectly sent off. However, HCM City could not capitalise on the advantage to find an equaliser. Instead, they even conceded a second goal in the third minute of stoppage time, with foreign striker Hoang Vu Samson dribbling the ball past Thanh Thang and firing a shot into an empty net to seal a 2-0 victory for Quang Nam FC.

The second consecutive defeat has dealt a big blow to HCM City’s title ambition this season. Meanwhile, with the full three points at home, Vu Hong Viet’s troops have temporarily climbed to eighth place in the table and rescued themselves from the relegation zone.

In other fixtures on Saturday, Quang Ninh Coal were held to a goalless home draw by Nam Dinh FC, while bottom-place Sanna Khanh Hoa edged out SHB Da Nang 1-0 to continue fostering their hopes of avoiding relegation at the end of the season.