Table toppers HCM City were left stunned last night after losing by two goals to nil away at Da Nang.
|Striker Ha Duc Chinh of Da Nang performs in the match between Da Nang and HCM City in the V.league 1 yesterday. Da Nang defeated HCM City 2-0. – Photo plo.vn|
Do Merlo and national striker Ha Duc Chinh scored the goals for the home side.
HCM City started the match aggressively and created a number of chances but rushed in front of goal and failed to find the net.
Despite opportunities to take the lead, the first half ended goalless.
After the break the home side were on the front foot on 56 minutes Merlo broke the deadlock.
He rose high from Thanh Hai’s corner to head home past Nguyen Thanh Diep in the visitor’s net.
The goal sparked South Korean coach Chung Hae-seong to make changes in search of an equaliser.
And the substitutions almost paid off when Van Thanh found himself through on goal but his effort struck the bar.
Five minutes later Merlo had the chance to double the lead, and his own tally, but couldn’t find the back of the net.
League leaders HCMC pushed for an equaliser throughout the second half but were thwarted at every attempt.
In the 85th minute the home side finally put the game out of reach through striker Chinh.
His goal justified his selection in the national squad for the upcoming King’s Cup to be played in Thailand next week.
The loss may have dented City’s title aspirations but they still top the table with 26 points, some five points clear of Hanoi who have 21 points.
The win saw Da Nang reach 18 points behind the top two.
Meanwhile at the Thanh Hoa Stadium, the hosts came from behind to beat Nam Dinh.
This defeat will have dented the visitor’s momentum after their shock 3-2 win over champions Hanoi in their last game.
That’s now seven wins in a row for Thanh Hoa.
Thanh Hoa controlled the game from the off but it was Nam Dinh who drew first blood.
Thanh Hoa’s Gramoz Kurtaj made an error allowing Patiyo Tambwe to steal in the penalty area and find Diogo Pereira who didn’t waste the chance.
Receiving a good pass of his teammate on the right wing, Trong Hung then levelled the score at 1-1.
Early in second half, Rimario Gordon made Thanh Hóa fans jump for joy with his goal to put the side in front.
But the real action was still to come.
Diogo Pereira netted the second goal for Nam Dinh in the 82nd minute but just five minutes later, Dinh Tien Thanh beat goalie Dinh Xuan Viet to finish the match of 3-2 in favour of Thanh Hoa.
Elsewhere yesterday, Viettel drew with Quang Ninh Coal 3-3.