V.League 2018: Title holders Quang Nam secure crucial win at Hai Phong

Monday, 2018-04-16 11:34:59
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Thanh Trung (in blue) scores the second goal for Quang Nam.
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NDO – Reigning V.League champions Quang Nam recorded a crucial 2-0 victory over Hai Phong on April 15, to jump to seventh place in the provisional V.League 2018 table with seven points.

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Manager Hoang Van Phuc’s side headed into the Sunday fixture suffering from huge pressure, as they were struggling near the bottom of the table with just four points after their first four games. The trip to Lach Tray Stadium was a must-win clash if Quang Nam wished to rekindle their title defence hopes.

Phuc deployed his strongest lineup on the field, with an attacking line-up of three forwards: Thanh Trung, Claudecir, and Dai Duong. However, it was Hai Phong who produced the more clear-cut chances. After eight minutes, Errol Stevens forced Quang Nam keeper Van Cuong into a brilliant save with a close-range header, before producing an unsuccessful attempt seven minutes later.

Despite facing constant pressure from the home team, Quang Nam FC proved to be more efficient in making use of their opportunities. Hai Phong goalie Van Lam brilliantly blocked two consecutive headers by Dai Duong in the 19th and 20th minute, only to see Thiago head home from a rebound immediately afterwards to open the scoring for the visitors.

Stevens (in red) misses a number of clear-cut chances to score for Hai Phong.

After the goal, manager Truong Viet Hoang’s side strengthened their attacks seeking to level the game. However, the brilliance of keeper Van Cuong helped Quang Nam to defend the 1-0 advantage until half time.

In the second half, the guests continued to demonstrate an effective counterattacking strategy. Assisted by a through ball from Quang Huy two minutes before the hour mark, Thanh Trung fired a shot into the far corner to double Quang Nam’s lead.

The remaining minutes saw the host team make concerted efforts, which, however, were denied by both keeper Van Cuong and the post. The 2-0 score remained unchanged until the final whistle.

With the full three points bagged at Lach Tray Stadium, Quang Nam moved up six places to seventh in the provisional standings with seven points. Meanwhile, Hai Phong remains stuck in 13th position with only four points.

In the other Sunday matches, XSKT Can Tho and Becamex Binh Duong were held to respective 3-3 draws by Song Lam Nghe An and FLC Thanh Hoa.