City and SHB Đà Nẵng share the spoils in four-goal thriller at the SVĐ Thống Nhất.  Late goals from Thanh Bình and Amido Baldé not enough to secure all three points as three goals are scored in frantic final five minutes.

City made one change from the starting XI that had won so convincingly the previous Tuesday afternoon.  Into the side came Nguyễn Công Thành (71) who had missed out due to a slight knock.  Dropping to the bench went Sầm Ngọc Đức (7).  There was no place in the squad for midfielder Trần Phi Sơn (10) who himself was carrying a slight injury.

Starting XI vs SHB Đà Nẵng 

As was the case in the previous meeting in the National Cup a few weeks ago, it was the visitors, SHB Đà Nẵng, who created the game's first opening.  With barely a minute on the clock, Tanda saw his effort fly wide of the City goal.  The scene had already been set for a game that was to be the polar opposite of the dire affair dished out a couple of weeks ago.

Unlike the cup game where City failed to register a single shot on target throughout the ninety minutes, tonight it took only seven as City showed their intent to more than match the lightening attack of the visitors.  Striker Amido Baldé (99), fresh from scoring last time out away to Sông Lam Nghệ An saw his long range effort safely collected by visiting keeper Tuấn Mạnh

The opening period was proving to be an open affair.  Both teams seemingly intent on going on the attack to gain the initial advantage.  SHB Đà Nẵng were showing why early season form was not a true indicator. Attacking with speed, especially down City’s left, the visitors were proving to be a handful for the City back-line which was once again in the capable hands of Diakité (44), ably supported by Hữu Tuấn (15), Tùng Quốc (2) and the returning Công Thành (71).

The only real surprise of the evening was that as the game entered the twenty minute mark, neither team had managed to make the all important first break through.

City star Công Phượng was being well marshalled by an organised Đà Nẵng backline. Dropping deeper to influence play the enigmatic play maker was trying everything in his repertoire.  The link up play with Huy Toàn (16) that had proved so devastating last time out was yet to make itself felt.

Công Phượng in Action

A bright note for City was the continuing development of South Korean Seo Yong-duk (6) who was once again proving to be an astute signing by City.

Thirty minutes in and City thought that they had made the breakthrough and that man Công Phượng was involved.  His beautiful corner found the head of Amido Baldé, but despite being only two yards out, his header was somehow saved by Tuấn Mạnh who reacted instinctively to keep the effort out with Huy Toàn unable to finish off the rebound.

As is the way in life in general or football in particular.  If you don’t take advantage of the situation when on top, then there is the real danger that someone else will.  And on 43 minutes, all of City’s hard work was to come undone.  Attacking down City’s left, Đình Hoàng was able to release Văn Long.  His left footed shot beating a disparing Thanh Thắng in the City goal to put the visitors one up on the stroke of half time.

Half Time : Ho Chi Minh City 0-1 SHB Đà Nẵng

Coach Chung made his first change of the evening prior the restart bringing on Hoàng Thịnh (9) for Văn Thuận (14).  However, it was the visitors who almost, and probably should have, struck first.  Vietnamese International Đức Chinh (9) was allowed to find striking partner Tanda in the City box, and as the City defense stopped, looking for an offside flag that never came, the striker somehow fluffed his lines as Thanh Thắng was able to make an excellent save diving low down to his right pushing the shot onto the upright and away. 

Just before the hour mark and Coach Chung again tried to freshen things up. Công Phượng and Công Thành being replaced by Xuân Nam (11) and Ngọc Đức (7) respectively.

Five minutes later and it was the turn of Seo Yong-duk to test Tuấn Mạnh in the visitor’s goal.  His speculative shot causing more problems than it probably should have being uncomfortably palmed over the bar for a City corner.

City Fans Urge On Their Team

City were now putting their foot to the gas as they strove forward in search of that illusive equaliser.  Time and again the ball was played into the visitors area and although confusion usually followed, there was no end product. Time was beginning to be anything but a friend of City.  However, as shown on many an occasion in the past.  Under Coach Chung this City side does not go down easily.

Công Hiển (28) was introduced on 69 minutes replacing Văn Toàn (16) and on 77 minutes local boy Thanh Bình (8) was introduced replacing Văn Thành (39) as Coach Chung sort different ways of breaking down the resilient SHB Đà Nẵng defense.

With eleven minutes left of the ninety, City came within inches of drawing level and it almost came courtesy of a visitor’s head.  A long ball played into the visitor’s box found the head of Đình Hoàng.  His header finding the crossbar rather than the back of his own net.

Then the change worked.  With barely two minutes left on the clock, substitute Thanh Bình was able to fire in a low shot from the edge of the box and into the visitor’s net.  City were level at last.  City 1-1 SHB Đà Nẵng

Thanh Bình Celebrates His Goal

Those who were leaving the stadium thinking that the drama was over were going to be bitterly disappointed.  One minute into the allotted additional three and City had turned the game on its head.  Công Hiển’s cross found the head of Amido Baldé who was able to beat Tuấn Mạnh and put City 2 1 up in a game which for all their earlier efforts did not appear to be going in their favour.  City 2-1 SHB Đà Nẵng

Amido Baldé Celebrates Scoring City's Second

From a feeling of gloom, to relief to elation, all in the space of two minutes, City were to be brought back down to earth as the last minute drama continued.  Visiting Striker Tanda was somehow allowed to squeeze the ball home as the third minute of additional time ended to bring the visitors level and end a game that bore no resemblance to the earlier meeting between the two sides.



City : 1. Thanh Thắng, 44. Diakité, 71. Công Thành (7. Ngọc Đức, 60’), 2. Tùng Quốc, 15. Hữu Tuấn, 6. Seo Yong-duk, 39. Văn Thành (8. Thanh Bình, 77’), 16. Văn Toàn (28. Công Hiển, 69’), 14. Văn Thuận (9. Hoàng Thịnh, 46’),  99.  Amido Baldé, 21. Công Phượng (11. Xuân Nam, 60’).


SHB Đà Nẵng : Tuấn Mạnh, Đình Hoàng, Jelic, Thanh Hải (Thanh Thịnh, 83’), Anh Tuấn (A Mit, 83’), Tài Lộc, Văn Long (Akinade, 66’), Tiến Dụng, Công Nhật, Tanda, Đức Chinh (Minh Tâm, 78’).

Full Time : Ho Chi Minh City 2-2 SHB Đà Nẵng

©2018 by Darren Smale