Toyota V-League 2017 Round 12
Thanh Hoa fight back from two-goal deficit to beat Gia Lai
Monday, 2017-04-10 11:10:49
NDO – FLC Thanh Hoa bounced back from a two-goal deficit to edge out Hoang Anh Gia Lai (3-2) in their 12th-round match at Pleiku Stadium last weekend, thus cruising to the top spot of the V-League 2017 table with 22 points.
With solid support from home fans, Gia Lai players started the match confidently and proactively against in-form Thanh Hoa.
Favourite striker, Cong Phuong, lived up to expectation as he put the hosts ahead after three minutes with a stunning free kick from a distance of 30 metres.
The early advantage enabled the home side to play more comfortably and create several additional opportunities to score, but their strikers’ finishes were not accurate enough for the lead to be extended.
Despite many qualified players in the team, Thanh Hoa were relatively passive in their attacks, depending mainly on long balls for foreign striker duo Pape Omar and Iheruome Uche, which were easily blocked by Gia Lai’s defensive line.
The best chance for the guests might have been a back heel at post by Uche right before half time.
The second goal came for the hosts just seven minutes after the break. Forward Cong Phuong continued to shine with favourable assistance for Hong Duy who then produced a left-footed strike to beat goalkeeper Thanh Thang.
On the hour mark, Hoang Anh Gia Lai had to play with just 10 men on field after A Hoang was sent off following his second yellow card. This turning point paved the way for Thanh Hoa’s incredible resurgence in the remainder of the encounter.
Uche pulled a goal back for the guests in the 69th minute before Quoc Phong ignited their hopes of coming back with an equaliser seven minutes later. One minute into injury time, Uche scored the decisive goal to seal a hard-fought 3-2 win for FLC Thanh Hoa.
In other matches, Hai Phong jumped to second place with 21 points as a result of their 3-1 victory over XSKT Can Tho, while Long An remained at the bottom after losing 1-2 at Quang Ninh Coal on their home field.
Reigning champions Hanoi FC, Song Lam Nghe An and SHB Da Nang played out 1-1 draws with Sanna Khanh Hoa BVN, Ho Chi Minh City and Becamex Binh Duong, respectively.
Quang Nam failed to join FLC Thanh Hoa on top of the standings after succumbing to a 1-2 defeat at Saigon.