City victorious in penalty shoot out to advance to the Semi Finals of the Cúp Quốc Gia Bamboo Airways 2019 

For the second cup match in a row, City advanced via a successful penalty shoot out.  This time winning 5-3 against Hải Phòng FC after a goal less ninety minutes at the SVĐ Lạch Tray.  The victory sets up a Semi Final clash against either Nam Định FC or Hà Nội  FC.  Either way, City will be facing another long journey north after aleady travelling to Phố Hiến FC, Viettel FC (Hà Nội ) in previous rounds.

City made five changes from the side that successfully defeated Viettel FC on Friday night in the previous round of the cup.  Alongside Ngọc Đức (7), Thanh Bình (8) and Văn Thành (99) there were full debuts for Ismaheel (24) and Victor Mansary (80). The latter having joined City from B. Bình Dương.  Dropping to the bench were Hoàng Thịnh (9), Minh Trung (17), Công Hiển (28), Công Thành (71) and Kesley (77).

Mansaray and Ismaheel Make Full Debuts.jpg

City's new boys Mansary and Ismaheel before the game

City straight away took the game to the hosts and it didn't take long for the visitors to fashion the game's first opportunity.  With barely 2 minutes on the clock, a corner on City's right taken by No 8 Thanh Bình was partially cleared to the edge of the box where it fell kindly to an unmarked Văn Thuận (14).  Although cleanly struck, his effort flew narrowly over the hosts bar.

Although City were looking assured in the early period they were almost undone in the 7th minute by a quick Hải Phòng break.  A hopeful punt by Mpande (10) found team mate Trung Hiếu (2) in acres of space.  His through ball found Fagen (9) who really should have done better with the chance only blazing over the bar.

City were continuing with their pass and move game on on 8 minutes almost fashioned another chance.  A freekick swung in by Văn Thuận (14) found the head of Ismaheel (24) and although he was able to raise above Hải Phòng's Hoàng Vissai (29), he was unable to direct the header on target.

City were continuing to enjoy the majority of the ball but were finding the final ball hard to come by.  The hosts on their part seemed happy to hit City on the break utilising the pace of partners Fagan (9) and Jermie (11).

The game almost burst into life on the half hour mark.  A throw in on City's right provided Tùng Quốc (2) with an opportunity which was fumbled by Vũ Hải (1) in the Hải Phòng goal.  The rebound falling to City new boy Mansary (80) who was unable to finish.  The flag had however also been raised to perhaps spare his blushes.  

Despite City's dominance with the ball, the hosts really should have taken the lead on 35 minutes.  A free kick by Mpande (10) was spilled by a usually reliable Thanh Diệp (25) in the City goal.  The ball fell kindly to Jermie (11) who, perhaps unsettled by Thanh Diệp's attempted challenge, could only hit the underside of the bar from three yards out.

With the first half entering the additional period of two minutes the hosts were almost presented with an opportunity.  A delightful through ball found Jermie on the edge of the City area.  His effort was blocked by the timely challenge of Hữu Tuấn (15) who put everything on the line to stifle the danger.

Half Time : Hải Phòng FC 0 - 0 Ho Chi Minh City FC

City started the second period as they had the first, on the front foot.  Two minutes in and a dangerous free kick taken by Văn Thuận (14) was crossed with pace.  Ismaheel's challenge on Vũ Hải (1) in the Hải Phòng goal seemingly too strong for the over protective referee.

City's first change of the night came on 55 minutes with Club Captain Kesley (77) being introduced replacing Văn Thành (99) who had produced another strong appearance in the red of City.

Chances for either side were proving hard to come by as the game entered the last 30 minutes.  Tùng Quốc (2) was presented with a opportunity on 62 minutes but his effort was well wide of the mark.  Two minutes later and Kesley (77) fed Ismaheel (24) inside the Hải Phòng box.  Unfortunately the striker appeared to slip at the crucial moment and was unable to make any real meaningful contact.

With 20 minutes to go Coach Chung Hae-soung sent on Công Hiển (28) for Quang Nam (18) to change things around.  His first involvement was to send over a corner which was easily cleared.

With 10 minutes left on the clock, Văn Thuận (14) sent Ismaheel (24) through.  Unfortunately the striker was unable to get clear of his marker and the attempted cross was cleared for a City corner.  What happened next was a disgraceful attempt by Hải Phòng's No. 28 Hoài Dương who went to ground clutching his body claiming a head butt by City's Mansary (80).  Video footage showed that there was neither an attempt to head butt or any contact made by the City man.  

When action finally restarted after the Z Rated Celebratory play acting the corner was easily dealt with by Fagan resulting in another corner on City's left to be taken by Thanh Bình (8).  His inswinger should have been easily collected by Vũ Hải (1) but the host's keeper flapped at the ball and was fortunate to see the ball cleared again by Fagan.

Christian (88) became the first City name to enter the referee's book on 83 minutes with a clumsy looking challenge on the ever involved Hải Phòng No. 9 Fagan.  

Coach Chung Hae-soung made his final switch of the night bringing on Hoàng Thiên (19) for new boy Mansary (80) who had put in a good opening 84 minutes for his new club.

As the clock started to tick down to penalties, Fagan had an excellent chance to steal the game for the hosts.  Finding himself all alone in the City box he contrived to slice the ball well off target.  In the build up to the chance City's No.15 Hữu Tuấn appeared to pull down Hải Phòng's No. 10 Mpande.  Neither the referee, nor Mpande himself made any real fuss over the incident.

With only two minutes of normal time remaining a delightfully flighted ball by Văn Thuận (14) found Thanh Bình (8) and although the City midfielder was able to beat the keeper to the ball and loft it over the advancing Vũ Hải, the attempt lacked pace and was easily cleared.  City were however pressing for that elusive winner.  A long throw in by the once again impressive Văn Thuận (14) who surely impressed the watching Assistant Coach of the National Team, was flicked on by the head of Ismaheel (24).  This time Hải Phòng's stopper Vũ Hải was up to the task and tipped the ball over the bar for a City corner.  The resultant corner saw Tùng Quốc (2) shoot high, wide and not very handsome.

Full Time : Hải Phòng FC 0 - 0 Ho Chi Minh City FC

With the game ending goal-less in normal time and for the second game in a row in the Cup, City had to endure the lottery of a penalty shoot-out


Hải Phòng FC : 1. Vũ Hải, 2. Trung Hiếu (23. Phú Nguyên 56’), 6. Hữu Phúc, 9. Fagan, 10. Mpande, 11. Jermie Lynch, 16. Lâm Qúi (27. Thanh Phong 90+2’), 20. Mạnh Dũng, 28. Hoài Dương, 29. Hoàng Vissai, 45. Thành Đồng (24. Xuân Hùng 76’).


HCMC FC : 25. Thanh Diệp, 88. Ewonde, 2. Tùng Quốc, 7. Ngọc Đức, 8. Thanh Bình, 14. Văn Thuận, 15. Hữu Tuấn, 18. Quang Nam (28. Công Hiển 70’), 24. Ismaheel, 80. Mansary (19. Hoàng Thiên 84’), 99. Văn Thành (77. Huỳnh Kesley 56’)


Hải Phòng FC                              HCMC FC

                                                 Văn Thuận (14) 0-1

Mpande (10) 1-1

                                                 Hoàng Thiên (19) 1-2

Fagan (9) SAVED 1-2 

                                                 Thanh Bình (8) 1-3

Hoàng Vissai (29) 2-3

                                                 Tùng Quốc (2) 2-4

Thanh Phong (27) 3-4

                                                 Kesley (77) 3-5

Follow This Link To Watch The Official Highlights on VPF YouTube Channel 

Match Photos

©2018 by Darren Smale