Goalkeeper and the goal pole helped FLC Thanh Hoa beat Song Lam Nghe An 1-0 in their north central derby match during the V.League’s fourth round on Sunday.
Ofere Junior (centre) vies for a ball during the V.League match between Thanh Hoa and Song Lam Nghe An on Sunday. Thanh Hoa win 1-0. — Photo baonghean.vn
The only goal went to foreign striker Ofere Junior, after he missed many threatening opportunities throughout the match.
The Nigerian, who used to play for Lecce in Italian Serie A, headed home after receiving a free kick from teammate Van Binh to the box 10 minutes after the interval.
Goalkeeper Phan Dinh Vu Hai, who successfully saved his net from Thanh Hoa’s earlier attempts, failed to rescue him this time.
Hoang Dinh Tung nearly made it 2-0 for the hosts, but his close-range finish went slightly wide.
Song Lam Nghe An fought back, and they found some threatening chances, though their strikers either could not shoot accurately or their finishes were stopped by goalie talented Bui Tien Dung, the No 1 goalie in the national U23 squad.
Even when Dung could not do his job, the goal pole denied Van Duc’s curling shot, which left all Thanh Hoa players behind.
At the post-match briefing, coach Romania Mihail of Thanh Hoa shared his happiness with reporters, saying that the victory was due to his players, especially Van Binh and Tien Thanh, who played at their peak yesterday. He further said he was pleased to find these two players for the next round.
The Romanian coach noted that Song Lam Nghe An had good results when competing on the away fields. They also competed well in the AFC Cup. But in this match, his team had more of a chance, though having only one goal, but it was enough to win and he was satisfied with that.
On the visiting side, coach Nguyen Duc Thang said, “I praised the whole team’s spirit. Some players spent a long time on a flight from Jordan to come back home (after taking part in the Asian Cup qualifier last week) after playing in the AFC Cup. They had only one day to recover and might not find their best today. We have not been lucky, as many opportunities could not be converted into goals. It would be good if it finished with a draw.”
Thanh Hoa jumped to No 5 in the ranking with one game to spare, while Song Lam Nghe An fell to second from the bottom, with only one point.
In Ha Long City, Quang Ninh Coal defeated defending champions Quang Nam 3-0.
Despite facing the tournament winners, Quang Ninh chose to play in attack from the beginning. They faced challenges from the visitors, who strongly defended in their home field.
Though no goal was made in the first half, things changed dramatically after the break.
Joel Vinicius opened the score with a header. Six minutes later he made his double, after stealing a ball after misunderstanding a situation caused by Quang Nam’s defenders.
Coach Hoang Van Phuc of Quang Nam called his best striker from last season, Claudecir, to the field, hoping to make a change. But his decision did not work and Claudecir could not save the team.
Quang Ninh even netted for the third time by Hai Huy near the end of the match.
Quang Ninh then maintained strongly on top of the table, with 10 points after four matches, leaving their nearest rival Hanoi FC behind with a three-point gap.
Hanoi failed to narrowed the gap yesterday with the leader after their 1-1 draw with three-time champion Becamex Binh Duong.
Oseni Ganiyu Bolaji opened the scoring for visiting Hanoi just 16 minutes after the first whistle.
Binh Duong found the leveler at the 50th mark by national striker Nguyen Anh Duc, who netted the only goal for Vietnam in a recent Asian Cup qualifier in Jordan.
In the field at Hoa Xuan Stadium, SHB Da Nang beat Sai Gòn FC 3-2. Also, Can Tho made a bang when defeating hosts Hai Phong 1-0 at the Lach Tray. And in the latest match, Hoang Anh Gia Lai won 2-0 over newly promoted Nam Dinh. — VNS
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