Ho Chi Minh City defeat Hải Phòng FC with injury time goal
A goal from substitute Lê Hoàng Thiên in the 92nd minute was enough to secure all three points for City in their opening fixture of the 2019 Wake Up 247 V League 1 season.
A game constantly littered with fouls and played on a brand new pitch was heading for a goalless draw until the dying embers. Vũ Quang Nam (18) , who had earlier replaced Trần Thanh Bình (8) found striker Matias (11) in the box. His flick on was met by Lê Hoàng Thiên (19) who stroked the ball high into the Hải Phòng net to spark wild celebrations on and off the pitch.
City came into the game having never previously beaten Hải Phòng. In fact, all previous 6 encounters had ended in defeat for City. It was therefore no real surprise that the opening encounters were of a cautious nature. Playing on a new surface reportedly costing 6 billion đong, both teams struggled initially with the speed and bounce of the playing surface with both teams set out to encounter the threat of the other. Matias was playing his first game for almost 5 weeks and found the going tough during the initial phases.
Chances were at a premium and it looked like it would take either a mistake or a set piece to break the deadlock. On 25 minutes City were awarded a free kick. The ball was swung in and headed on by Nguyễn Hữu Tuấn (15). Unfortunately his flick on was met by striker Vinicius (94) who was standing in an offside position and the goal was correctly ruled out by the referee.
Half Time 0-0
The second half started off as the first had finished with both teams approaching the game with caution. Any attacking intent was coming from City. The home side was becoming more comfortable with the playing surface, Matias was having a greater influence in the game and City's midfield was beginning to take control.
In the 57th minute, City came close to breaking the deadlock. Matias met a cross from Phạm Văn Thành (99) but unfortunately for last season's top scorer, the ball sailed past the post. Hải Phòng briefly responded in the 60th minute with Nguyễn Vũ Hoàng Dương's freekick. His effort was high, wide and not very handsome.
City's coach Chung Hae-seong rang the changes introducing Vũ Quang Nam (18) for Trần Thanh Bình (8) on 72 minutes and Lê Hoàng Thiên (19) for Huỳnh Văn Thanh (86) on 79 minutes. The first of the changes almost had an immediate inpact. Vinicius (94) seeing two efforts in very quick succession hitting the bar. First, on 72 minutes, his strike came back off the bar following a flick on from fellow striking partner Matias. Vinicius had the presence of mind to follow up his effort and directed an header back toward the goal. Unfortunately, this effort too was to hit the bar. City were by now really pushing for the victory but were constantly being denied. Matias saw an header pushed over the bar by Hải Phòng's keeper Phan Đình Vũ Hải .
With the game heading toward a 0-0 stalemate, City finally broke the deadlock. Matias (11), receiving the ball from Vũ Quang Nam (18), hocked the ball over his head and into the path of the oncoming Lê Hoàng Thiên (19) who brilliantly fired the ball into the net sending the vast majority of the 5,000 crowd into scenes of utter delirium.
Full Time 1-0
HCMC FC 1. Nguyễn Thanh Thắng 8. Trần Thanh Bình (18. Vũ Quang Nam 72 mins) 9. Ngô Hoàng Thịnh 11 Matias 15. Nguyễn Hữu Tuấn 20. Vũ Ngọc Thịnh 28. Phạm Công Hiển 32. Đặng Quang Huy (99. Phạm Văn Thành) 81. Vũ Anh Tuấn 86. Huỳnh Văn Thanh (19. Lê Hoàng Thiên) 94. Joel Vinicius
HPFC 1. Phan Đình Vũ Hải 6. Nguyễn Hữu Phúc 7. Trịnh Văn Lợi (22. Nguyễn Viết Nguyên) 9. Andre Fagan 10. Mpande Joseph Mbolimbo 14. Adriano Schmidt 15. Đoàn Ngọc Tân 19. Vương Quốc Trung 21. Phạm Thành Long Lê 26. Nguyễn Vũ Hoàng Dương (2. Trung Hiếu Lê)
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