Two second half goals saw City slump to only their second defeat of the season and the the gap over rivals Hà Nội reduced to 4 points at the top of V-League 1 in Week 12 of the 2019 season.
As per the previous 11 games, Coach Chung Hae-suong was forced to ring the changes either through injury or suspension. For the latest game, there were 4 changes from the victory over Sông Lam Nghệ An. In came 4 N T Tiến 7 S N Đức 9 N H Thịnh and 81 V A Tuấn. No 10 Trần Phi Sơn was included in the squad and was on the bench.
City were looking to, if only temporarily, increase the gap at the top of the table over rivals Hà Nội to eight points ahead of Hà Nội's game away to HAGL. The hosts were looking to build upon a recent good run of 3 wins in their last 4 outings.
City started aggressively enough but it was in fact the hosts who were to create the first opportunity of sorts. City's No 7 Sầm Ngọc Đức was deemed to have fouled the hosts No 6 Anh Tuấn. The resultant free kick, although flighted into a dangerous area, was easily cleared by the City defence.
City's first opportunity came in the 9th minute. No 28 P. Công Hiển found partner Quang Nam (18) on the edge of the SHB Đà Nẵng box. Unfortunately his effort was blocked for a City corner.
On 12 minutes Joel (94) put Quang Nam clear. His shot lacking power was easily saved by the Đà Nẵng keeper Thanh Bình (13). City were continuing to create chances but time after time the effort was rushed and the opportunity passed. City were still enjoying the majority of ball possession with the hosts looking to hit City on the counter attack.
23 minutes in and a flowing move down the Đà Nẵng right involving Nhật Tân (20) and Edson (97) ended with the striker trying his luck from the edge of the City box. His effort lacked any venon and was easily gathered
by Thanh Diệp (25) in the City goal. As the game reached the half hour mark, City were to fashion and waste another opportunity to take the lead. A knock down by Joel (94) found Công Hiển (28). His long range effort lacked accuracy and sailed harmlessly over the Đà Nẵng bar.
The game was becoming more stretched and with 7 minutes remaining in the first half, City countered. Joel broke free in the center of the pitch, his pass found Minh Trung (17) who crossed early into the Đà Nẵng box. As before, the cross eluded the intended target and was cleared to safety.
38 minutes in and City's best opportunity to take the lead came and went. Tùng Quốc (2) broke into the SHB Đà Nẵng box, the ball fell to Quang Nam whose effort was saved by the feet of Thanh Bình (13) with Joel's follow up being cleared to safety.
Half Time SHB Đà Nẵng 0 Ho Chi Minh City FC 0
The hosts started the second period more on the front foot and broke the deadlock on 56 minutes. A corner by No 7 Thanh Hải was met by the head of Merlo (19) who was able to beat off the challenge of Quang Nam and guide his effort pass Thanh Diệp and into the City net. The goal signaled the first of City's changes with the coach sending on Văn Thành (99) to replace Minh Trung (17). The change almost paid immediate dividends with Văn Thành, following a flick on by Joel, finding himself clear inside the hosts box. Unfortunately his effort found the bar rather than the back of the net and once again, a City chance had come and gone.
On the hour mark, Merlo had the chance to double both his tally and the hosts lead as he was put clear of the City defence following a long clearance by Thanh Hải (7). Luckily for City he was unable to find the back of the City net.
With City pushing forward looking for an equaliser, it was the hosts who were to strike next and effectively put the game to bed. Striker Đức Chinh (9) was left all alone in the City box and was able to sweep the ball pass an helpless Thanh Diệp. For Đức Chinh it was a double celebration and justified his selection for the national squad in the upcoming King's Cup in Thailand.
Final Score SHB Đà Nẵng 2 Ho Chi Minh City FC 0
SHB Đà Nẵng : 13. Thanh Bình, 20. Nhật Tân, 22. Công Nhật, 97. Bonificio (11. Văn Long, 56’), 7. Thanh Hải (8. A Mít, 72’), 6. Anh Tuấn, 12. Minh Tâm, 16. Tiến Dụng, 31. Schmitt (9. Đức Chinh, 56’), 99. Nirennold, 19. Đỗ Merlo.
HCMC FC : 25. Thanh Diệp, 2. Tùng Quốc, 4. Tăng Tiến, 15. Hữu Tuấn, 7. Ngọc Đức, 17. Minh Trung (99. Văn Thành, 53’), 28. Công Hiển, 9. Hoàng Thịnh, 81. Anh Tuấn (8. Thanh Bình, 66’), 18. Quang Nam (77. Huỳnh Kesley, 73’), 94. Vinicius.
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