Red alert for HAGL after 1-3 defeat at Saigon

Sunday, 2019-09-15 13:38:11
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A second-half goal by Nguyen Phong Hong Duy (in white) is not enough to rescue Hoang Anh Gia Lai from an away defeat.
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NDO – Hoang Anh Gia Lai (HAGL) have been put on red alert after they fell to an unexpected 1-3 away defeat against Saigon FC on September 14, which threatens to push Lee Tae-hoon’s side into the relegation zone after the weekend’s V.League action.

With playmaker Nguyen Tuan Anh being ruled out due to suspension (three yellow cards), HAGL faced numerous difficulties in breaking through Saigon’s solid defence.

The guests were trailing behind after just 22 minutes as foreigner Paulo Pedro shot past goalkeeper Sietsma to open the scoring for the home side.

Despite having more of the ball, HAGL could only manage one noteworthy attack a few minutes before halftime, with Minh Vuong blasting a deflected shot.

Shortly after the break, Nguyen Phong Hong Duy made use of Saigon goalie Pham Van Phong’s negligence to equalise the score for HAGL from 18 metres.

However, the guests’ joy was short-lived, because just eight minutes later Geovane Silveira dribbled the ball through HAGL’s defensive block before placing a low shot past goalie Sietsma to restore the one-goal lead for the hosts.

The remainder of the match saw Saigon FC play solidly on their half, making it difficult for Xuan Truong and teammates to create clear-cut chances.

HAGL’s hopes for resurgence were scattered in the 82nd minute as Quoc Long converted a penalty to make it 3-1 for the hosts.

With the convincing home win, Saigon FC have provisionally climbed to fourth in the table seven points clear of the relegation zone. Meanwhile, HAGL have fallen into a red alert situation, as they are now only one point above second-from-bottom Thanh Hoa FC who still have a game in hand and can escape from the play-off position if they manage to outclass Quang Ninh Coal later today.

Sanna Khanh Hoa BVN moved very close to being relegated to the First Division next season after a disappointing 1-1 away draw against Hai Phong FC continue to keep them rooted to rock bottom four points behind Thanh Hoa.

SHB Da Nang recorded a crucial 4-1 victory against hosts Quang Nam FC on a day that witnessed the brilliance of foreign players, with Aime Gassissou scoring a brace (27’, 72’), alongside the other goals by Gaston Merlo (55’) and Bernado Frizoni (67’).