Tiến Dũng shines as City win on penalties.  Substitute keeper Tiến Dũng saved two penalties as City beat SHB Đà Nẵng 3-2 on Penalties after hard fought 0-0 draw at a rain soaked Thống Nhất.

City welcomed SHB Đà Nẵng  to the SVĐ Thống Nhất in an eagerly anticipated showdown.  Leading up to kick off, most media outlets were billing the game as the Công Phượng vs Đức Chinh Show.  But when the team sheets were released a little after 18:15 many were surprised to see there was no Công Phượng in City’s starting XI.  Coach Chung Hae-seong opting to leave the attacking minded player on the bench.  Maybe one eye on the V-League, maybe one eye on the conditions.  The city having been hit by a mid-afternoon storm that had continued in the early evening leaving the Thống Nhất pitch in a very wet position.

Although City enjoyed the majority of possession during the opening twenty minutes of the game – seeing 60% of the ball, the four pivotal players in Coach Chung Hae-seong’s strategy - Văn Thành, Huy Toàn, Phi Sơn and Amido, failed to create any real opportunities to threaten the visitor’s goal.  Indeed, the opening period was to pass with little in the way of excitement.  SHB Đà Nẵng for their part showed intent.  However, moves kept breaking down as the City defence, marshalled expertly by  both Diakité and Hữu Tuấn, kept the probing runs of returning ex-City striker Akinade and Đức Chinh at bay.  Đức Chinh did infact manage to find the back of the City net in the early stages but his effort was correctly ruled out for offside.  Something that was to plague SHB Đà Nẵng the entire evening as Akinade was to become a frustrated figure as the evening progressed.  Tanda (77) in particular falling foul of the assistant referee’s flag.

 

City’s first opportunity of the evening came in the 23rd minute.  Ngô Hoàng Thịnh’s fiercely struck frrekick was only parried by visiting keeper Tuấn Mạnh.  Unfortunately for City, the loose ball was headed wide as two City players, Huy Toàn and Văn Thành impeded each other whilst trying to turn home the opportunity.  A situation that caused much frustration for watching midfielder Phi Sơn as Văn Thành headed wide.  This moment was to encapsulate the entire evening for both teams as moments came and passed in confusion amongst team mates.

 

By this time, Đức Chinh had come and gone.  In the 20th minute Vietnam’s ‘favoured’ striker was replaced by Thanh Hải.  The forward leaving the pitch holding his hamstring.  A great sight for City perhaps, but a bad one for Vietnam.  Hopefully the injury is not too bad as the nation will be looking to him when the World Cup Qualifiers start again.

 

As the first half came to it’s conclusion, Đình Hoàng (66) was able to get behind the City defence but over run the ball for a City goalkick. 

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

Coach Chung made his first change of the night at the start of the second period, bringing on Công Phượng for Huy Toàn who had performed steadily during the opening 45 minutes.

 

Despite Công Phượng’s introduction, it was the visitors who grabbed the initiative and should have taken the lead on 53 minutes.  Tanda (77) found Thanh Hải alone in the box.  His effort was scuffed and easily cleared by a grateful City defence.

 

58 minutes in and City almost created an opening of their own.  A tantalising cross from Phi Sơn (10) receiving a deflection and narrowly missing the head of the incoming Văn Thành (39).  The resulting corner missing the head of Diakité (44) who had stole into the near post area.

 

Just after the hour mark and a period of ping-ball in the City area so Diakité hack the ball clear and into safety.  The game was becoming both scrappy and stretched as both teams probed for an opening. 

 

It was the visitors who were continuing to press as City struggled to find any rhythm in their play.  On 67 minutes former City forward Akinade (24) broke down City’s left.  His cross being cleared by the outstretched legs of that man Diakité who was having another inspirational game. 

 

Soon after Coach Chung made his second change bringing on City’s Super-Sub Xuân Nam (11) for Văn Thành (39).  Moments later and the new boy was involved.  His header bouncing down and into the grateful arms of the visiting keeper Tuấn Mạnh, who apart from that Hoàng Thịnh (9) effort in the first half, had been almost a spectator.

City were becoming frustrated with Công Phượng receiving a yellow card on 78 minutes after a high footed challenge on Tài Lộc (26).

 

City’s playmaker almost having the opportunity to redeem himself instantly as his freekick was initially fumbled by Tuấn Mạnh in the Đà Nẵng goal but grabbed at the second attempt.

 

As the game entered its final moments and edged ever closer to the dreaded penalty kicks, there was a surprise substitution in store.  Coach Chung bringing on Tiến Dũng (35) for Thanh Thắng (1) in the City goal. The impact was instant.

Full Time : Ho Chi Minh City FC 0-0 SHB Đà Nẵng and the game is heading for penalties

Penalty Shoot Out Order

Penalty One : Akinade (SHB Đà Nẵng) - SAVED 0-0

Penalty Two : Văn Thuận (City) - GOAL 1-0

Penalty Three : Minh Tâm (SHB Đà Nẵng) - Goal 1-1

Penalty Four - Công Phượng (City) - GOAL 2-1

Penalty Five - Igor (SHB Đà Nẵng) - MISSED - 2-1

Penalty Six - Tùng Quốc (City) - GOAL 3-1

Penalty Seven - Đình Hoàng (SHB Đà Nẵng) - Goal 3-2

Penalty Eight - Diakité (City) - saved 3-2

Penalty Nine - Thanh Hải (SHB Đà Nẵng) - SAVED 3-2

City Win 3-2 on Penalties

Tiến Dũng Saves Ismaheel's Penalty

Tiến Dũng saves Thanh Hải’s Spot Kick and City Win 3-2

Watch the official Match Highlights by following this link

Next up for City is a trip to Hải Phòng FC in Week 3 of the 2020 VS V-League 1.  Our hosts that day have had an extra week off after losing their 1st Round tie away to Đồng Tháp FC.  Although Hải Phòng were without their foreign stars as rules do not allow their use in Round 1 of the Cup.

©2018 by Darren Smale