Saigon FC reclaim top spot after routing Thanh Hoa FC 3-0

Monday, 2020-07-13 09:57:37
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V.League 2020 - Matchday 9 - Saigon FC vs Thanh Hoa FC - Thong Nhat Stadium - July 12, 2020 Saigon FC players celebrate a goal during the match. (Photo: Vnexpress)
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NDO – Saigon FC recorded a comfortable 3-0 home win over Thanh Hoa FC on July 12 to resume their lead in the V.League title race, just one day after the table’s top spot was occupied by their city rivals Ho Chi Minh City.

>>> V.League preview: Thanh Hoa FC look to end Saigon FC’s unbeaten run

>>> Cong Phuong scores to send HCM City top of V.League

Two first-half goals by Ahn Byungkeon and Tan Tai plus a winner by Paulo Pedro after halftime helped Vu Tien Thanh’s side extend their unbeaten run to nine straight games and move two points clear in the standings.

Inspired by an exceptional run under new manager Nguyen Thanh Cong, Thanh Hoa travelled to Thong Nhat Stadium with the goal of putting an end to the hosts’ undefeated streak since the beginning of the season.

However, the guests’ ambition was dealt a blow after only five minutes, with Ahn Byung-keon utilising chaos in the box to slot in a shot to put Saigon in front.

After the opener, Saigon FC returned to their familiar counterattacking style. They proactively conceded the field to Thanh Hoa, but the forwards of the away side, including Hoang Vu Samson and Van Thang, could not break through the hosts’ solid defence.

In the 36th minute, Thanh Hoa goalkeeper Luong Ba Son ran forward to punch a left-wing freekick, with the ball rebounding to Saigon defender Tan Tai who drove an accurate long-range strike toward the far corner to double their advantage.

The hosts continued to rub salt in Thanh Hoa’s wounds shortly after the break, as Pedro Paulo, assisted by Geovane, blasted an unstoppable shot from the centre of the box to make it 3-0 for Vu Tien Thanh’s side.

In the remainder of the match, Saigon FC created several clear-cut chances to widen their lead, but Thanh Hoa keeper Luong Ba Son made good saves to prevent Nguyen Thanh Cong’s troops from conceding any additional goals.

With their third consecutive victory, Saigon FC continued to take control of the title race with 19 points, two above runners-up HCM City and four clear of third-placed Viettel.

In other Sunday matches, SHB Da Nang and Song Lam Nghe An were both held 1-1 by reigning champions Hanoi FC and newbies Hong Linh Ha Tinh, respectively, while Nam Dinh FC edged past Quang Nam FC 1-0 at home thanks to a solitary goal by Tony Agbaji (56’).

V.League 2020 Table - Matchday 9