HÀ NỘI — Striker Nguyễn Cong Phượng shone to help HCM City FC beat Quảng Ninh Coal in the V.League 1 on Saturday.
Welcoming HCM City at home was always likely to be a tough fixture for the hosts, and so it proved to be.
Just five minutes in, Phạm Văn Thanh’s scuff shot fell to Phượng’s feet and the striker slotted calmly into the net.
Conceding seemed to bring the hosts into the game and they created several dangerous opportunities but Andre Fagan and Mạc Hồng Quan both fluffed their lines.
Coach Phan Thanh Hung’s men soon paid the price for their profligacy in front of goal.
In the 25th minute, Amido Balde headed in to double the score for HCM City after a delightful corner kick by Trần Phi Sơn. Earlier, goalkeeper Huỳnh Tuấn Linh had made a mistake that caused the home team to concede the corner.
The second goal seemed to knock the stuffing out of the home side, and they went into the changing room down 2-0.
Four minutes the break, the visiting side had the third goal thanks to a header from Ngo Viết Phu, this time from a corner from Phượng.
Though Quang Ninh had some chances to get on the scoresheet afterwards, the third goal effectively killed the game as a contest.
The opening goal was Phượng’s fourth goal in this year’s national premier league and his seventh goal in all competitions for HCM City.
“At the beginning of the season, Phượng didn’t score. I said that the most important was the moment. If he could score a goal, he then could score many goals,” said coach Chung Hae-seong of HCM City after the match.
“Phượng has a stable life and focuses on playing. In training sessions, he practised well and also played well in matches. His fitness has also improved significantly. He played 90 minutes tirelessly like it was the start of the season. I think his form is still not the best at this time. He’s still making progress,” Chung added.
Coach Hung of Quảng Ninh said Phượng was the most dangerous player in HCM City and added that his players wasted too many opportunities.
In other matches on Saturday, Bình Dương drew 1-1 with Hoang Anh Gia Lai and Viettel defeated Hải Phòng 4-0. VNS
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