City returned to the summit of the 2019 247 Wake Up V-League 1 Table after a stunning 3-2 away victory to B. Bình Dương on Friday night
It took a 93rd minute winner from City's No 94 Joel to finally secure the three points that the overall performance merited. Having earlier coasted into a 2-0 lead courtesy of goals from 94 Joel on 38 minutes and 71 Công Thành in the 68th minute. City found themselves pegged back at 2-2 as the clocked ticked down after the hosts scored twice in six second half minutes. The second coming from a dubious penalty decision. The handball offence appearing to take place outside of the box. However, as this team has shown time and time again under the astute leadership of Coach Chung Hae Soung, they do not know how to give up.
As expected, the coach shuffled his pack. There was a debut for Ngô Tùng Quốc (2). Đỗ Văn Thuận (14) returned to the starting X1 and there was a first start of the season for returning Captain Kesley (77). Võ Út Cường (56), Nguyễn Công Thành (71) & Vũ Anh Tuấn (81) missing out.
City started the game in confident mood and this was shown in their passing and movement which was both crisp and sharp. However, the opening 20 minutes was one of testing the resolve of the Bình Dương defence rather than threatening the goal. The excessive heat and a ridiculous kick off time of 17:00 could have had something to do with it.
City's first real attempt came on 22 minutes. No 9 Hoàng Thịnh testing his luck from 30 yards out. However, his shot was saved by Bình Dương's keeper No 25 Đức Cường. The rebound finding City's No 11 Matias in an offside position. On 29 minutes, a delicately threaded through ball by No 99 Văn Thành found Joel. Unfortunately the flag was raised again. City were however beginning to find their passing range and gaining a foothold in the match.
Rather surprisingly then it was to be the hosts who had the first real goal scoring opportunity. On 36 minutes, a cross from Bình Dương's left found No 10 Wander Luiz all alone. His looping header being brilliantly saved by keeper of the season so far City's No 1 Thanh Thắng. Moments later, a lovely flighted cross from Bình Dương's No 4 Hồ Tấn Tài again found the head of Wander Luiz. His header this time sailing harmlessly past the City goal. The resulting City goal kick found No 11 Matias. His flick on was perfect for the on running Joel (94) who had the presence of mind to us the confusion of the hosts defenders No 8 Anh Tài and 26 Veniamin to slot home City's opening goal on 38 minutes.
Half Time B. Bình Dương FC 0 Ho Chi Minh City FC 1
City started the second half full of confidence and continued to dominate the passing game. No 71 Công Thành replacing live wire Công Hiển (28) on 46 minutes. It wasn't however until the 67th minute that City got the second goal that their play warranted. Matias, playing out wide on City's right floated a delightful cross which eluded the outstretched leg of Bình Dương's No 8 Anh Tài and although Joel (94) couldn't get a full contact on the ball it fell to an unmarked Công Thành (71) who found the corner of the net to score his first goal for City and make it a well deserved 2-0 scoreline. This was also to be Matias' last involvement in the game as he was replaced by No 18 Quang Nam on 69 minutes. It was later to be revealed that Matias had spent time in hospital during the week due to illness and had not trained.
City's second goal seemed to stun the hosts into life and on 73 minutes ex Vietnam U23 star Anh Đức (11) reduced the arrears to set up a nervy last 15 minutes. This was also the first goal that City had conceded in open play this season. 78 minutes and it was 2-2. A short corner found No 14 Lê Tấn Tài. His cross was adjudged to have been handled in the box by City's Đỗ Văn Thuận (14) although replays suggest that he was outside the box. A fact overlooked by the linesman who had a clear view of the incident. Anh Đức stepped up and calmly slotted the spot kick home.
Any fears that this would result in City collapsing was quickly eradicated as they once again reverted to the passing game which had brought earlier success. On 86 minutes a flighted cross into the Bình Dương box found the head of Joel (94). His looping header cleared for a City corner. The resulting corner found the head of Văn Thành (99). Unfortunately his flick on eluded Joel and came back of the post. The clearance only found its way to Thanh Bình (8) who had earlier replaced Captain Kesley on 81 minutes. In an attempt to attack the wing, Thanh Bình was upended by Sỹ Giáp (27) and a City free kick which in turn was cleared for a corner. City were piling on the pressure in the hope of finding a deserved winner.
From the in-swinging corner, the clearance again found Thanh Bình whose shot found the hand of Bình Dương's Sỹ Giáp and the referee made no hesitation in pointing to the spot. Joel stepped up and although the initial penalty was saved, the rebound fell kindly to the striker who slotted home the winner to spark wild celebrations among both players and supporters.
Full Time B. Bình Dương FC 2 Ho Chi Minh City FC 3
B. Bình Dương FC : 25 Đức Cường, 4 Hồ Tấn Tài, 8 Anh Tài, 10 Wander Luiz, 11 Anh Đức, 14 Lê Tấn Tài, 24 Tuấn Cảnh (27 Sỹ Giáp, 57’), 26 Veniamin, 28 Văn Vũ, 29 Hoàng Max (17 Anh Tỷ, 51’), 88 Rabo Ali.
HCMC FC: 1 Thành Thắng, 2 Tùng Quốc, 9 Hoàng Thịnh, 11 Matis Nicolas (18 Quang Nam, 69’), 14 Văn Thuận, 15 Hữu Tuấn, 28 Công Hiển (71 Công Thành, 46’), 77 Huỳnh Kesley (8 Thanh Bình, 81’), 88 Ewonde, 94 Vinicius, 99 Văn Thành.
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