HCM City force Song Lam Nghe An to first defeat of the season

Wednesday, 2020-06-24 10:08:11
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V.League 2020 - Matchday 6 - Song Lam Nghe An vs Ho Chi Minh City - Vinh Stadium - June 23, 2020 HCM City's striker Nguyen Cong Phuong celebrates scoring their second goal. (Photo: VPF)
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NDO – Star striker Nguyen Cong Phuong scored for the second consecutive match as Ho Chi Minh (HCM) City thrashed Song Lam Nghe An (SLNA) 3-1 away to claim top spot in the provisional V.League rankings on June 23.

SLNA headed into the home clash as the title frontrunners who had gone five straight games unbeaten with a clean sheet. However, after conceding their first goal of the season in the first half, the hosts became impatient and fell into the visitors’ counterattacking trap. They conceded two more goals within just five minutes in the second half and lost their fighting spirit.

Centre back Gustavo’s last-gasp goal to reduce the gap only worked to partly console the large crowd of home fans in attendance.

SLNA’s precautious start allowed HCM City to dominate ball possession in the first 20 minutes.

The guests put up their pressure in the middle of the first half and successfully ending SLNA’s impressive unbeaten run, with Van Thanh shooting past goalkeeper Van Hoang after taking a through ball from Amido Balde on the left flank.

Ngo Quang Truong’s side missed the chance to restore parity three minutes later, as Peter Samuel dribbled past defender Huu Tuan but shot wide. Despite leading the table, SLNA had managed to score only three times earlier, and the problems in their attacks came out during the confrontation with HCM City.

After the break, Chung Hae-seong’s troops continued to take control of the match and maintain their offensive pressure, which paid off with two additional goals within just five minutes (57’-62’). Cong Phuong beat goalie Van Hoang in a one-on-one for his second goal in two successive matches before Amido Balde made it 3-0 for the visitors by firing a powerful close-range shot into an empty net.

With time running out, Cong Phuong and Xuan Nam missed several opportunities to widen their advantage.

In the last official minute, Gustavo headed home to pull a goal back for SLNA; however, there was not enough time remaining for the hosts to reverse the situation.

The resounding win lifted HCM City to top of the standings with 13 points, while SLNA were pushed to second place with two points fewer following their first defeat of the season.

Thanh Hoa (in yellow) have clinched their second consecutive victory in V.League 2020. (Photo: NDO/Tran Hai)

In other matches on the same day, Thanh Hoa FC claimed their second consecutive victory by edging past Viettel FC 2-1 away. Nam Dinh FC were also defeated on their home field after conceding two unanswered goals against Hai Phong FC.

Matchday 6 of V.League 2020 will continue today (June 24) with the four remaining clashes, Becamex Binh Duong vs Hanoi FC, SHB Da Nang vs Hoang Anh Gia Lai, Quang Ninh Coal vs Quang Nam FC, and Saigon FC vs Hong Linh Ha Tinh.