City maintained their unbeaten start to the 2019 Season with a gritty 2-0 victory over Viettel FC at the SVĐ Thống Nhất on Saturday night.

City extended their unbeaten run in the 2019 Wake-Up 247 V-League 1 season to 6 games with victory over a determined Viettel FC side on Saturday night.  Goals from Nguyễn Hữu Tuấn (15) and Joel (94)  enough to secure a record that includes 5 wins and continue to sit pretty at the summit of the table.

Victory came at a cost to City with injuries sustained by midfielder Ngô Hoàng Thịnh (9) on 3 minutes and to striker Matias (11) on 33 minutes.  Both injuries are serious enough to probably force them to miss next week's trip to the capital to meet Hà Nộ FC in a top two clash.

City started in their usual pattern of passing and ball possession.  However, the injury to Ngô Hoàng Thịnh seemed to unsettle the team.  Play became disjointed with players occupying space already occupied.  The confusion in the City ranks encouraged a Viettle side who had yet to record a single point on their travels.  Indeed, it was the visitors who were playing the more fluid football.

However, it was City who were to register the first shot on target in the 18th minute.  Joel (94) receiving a pass from stand in captain No 14 Đỗ Văn Thuận drove forward.  Unfortunately, his side footed effort was easily gathered by Viettel's keeper No 25 Thế Tài.

On 30 minutes, Matias (11) receiving a central pass from Văn Thuận (14) appeared to take a knock to the back of his ankle in a challenge from Viettle's No 95 Santos.  The injury to Matias and the arrival of club captain Kesley (77) seemed to spark City into life.  Indeed, Kesley seemed determined toc single handedly drive the team on.

On 42 minutes, City were awarded a dangourous free kick on the edge of the Viettle box.  However, Kesley's effort went over the bar.

Half Time Ho Chi Minh City FC 0 Viettel FC 0

City were nearly caught cold at the start of the second half.  On 46 minutes, No 28 Phạm Công Hiển was caught in possession.  Viettel quickly broke into the City area.  However, rather than passing to a totally free Minh Tuấn (6) in the box, Việt Phong (11) chose to try to break the defence on his own and was forced out of play.

City were adopting a much brighter, faster passing and moving game.  A system that had served the side well in the previous 5 league games.  However, for all their effort it took until the 73 minute for City to finally make the breakthrough.  Công Hiển (28) found Văn Thuận (14) in space on the left wing.  His cross was met by the head of  No 15 Nguyễn Hữu Tuấn and it was 1-0 City.

81 minutes and Viettel had a real opportunity to equalise.  A deflected shot from the edge of the City box found Viettle's No 28 Hoàng Đức.  Luckily for City, his cross eluded the outstretched leg of De Souza (33) and the chance passed.

As the game ended injury time, a long clearance by City's No 71 Nguyễn Công Thành found Joel (94) who was able to outpace the Viettle defence and smash the ball into the Viettle net.  2-0 City.

There was a mixture of relief and jubilation as the final whistle blew.  Victory confirmed City's place at the summit of the V-League 1 table.

Final Score Ho Chi Minh City 2 Viettel FC 0

Line Ups

HCMC FC : 1 Thanh Thắng, 2. Tùng Quốc, 9. Hoàng Thịnh (8. Thanh Bình, 10’), 11. Matis Nicolas (77. Huỳnh Kesley, 35’), 14. Văn Thuận, 15. Hữu Tuấn, 28. Công Hiển, 71. Công Thành, 88. Ewonde, 94. Vinicius, 99. Văn Thành (18. Quang Nam, 90’).


Viettel : 25. Thế Tài, 4. Tiến Dũng, 6. Minh Tuấn, 7. Duy Thường, 9. Ngọc Sơn, 11. Việt Phong (33. Paulo, 63’), 21. Đức Chiến, 28. Hoàng Đức, 90. Kayo (29. Tiến Anh, 57’), 95. Gustavo, 96. Trọng Đại (10. Quang Khải, 76’).


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Match Photos

©2018 by Darren Smale