Hai Phong beat Hougang 4-0 in AFC Cup last match hinh anh 1
Martin Lo of Hai Phong FC celebrates his opening goal in the match between Hai Phong and Hougang United at the AFC Cup's Group H on December 14 in Hai Phong city. (Photo: VFF)

Three players of Hai Phong scored goals, while Hougang's Iryan Fandi added his name on the scoreboard with an own goal near the end of the match.

"Although the win does not mean much to our AFC Cup journey as we are stopped, my players ran a good match until the end. I am pleased with their spirit and performance," said coach Chu Dinh Nghiem of Hai Phong at the post-match conference.

Due to some unexpected absences, Nghiem gave playing opportunities to some long-time substitutes and all of them made their coach happy.

“I have places for (former national midfielder) Xuan Truong and (oversea Vietnamese) Marin Lo. I wanted them to catch the rhythm of game. They put in good performances and if they could maintain that peak they might play more regularly," said Nghiem.

Vietnamese side Hai Phong controlled the game from the beginning and had plenty of chances to open the score, but both local and foreign players failed.

Lo finally opened the scoring at the 26th minute. His skill was on show from first to last touch after he received the ball from Ho Minh Di, controlling it, then knocking it past a defender before cheekily placing it past the keeper to make it 1-0. 

Di turned from creator to scorer, with Brazilian Lucao dispossessing Kazuma Takayama who received a rather difficult pass from his keeper, squaring up Di who slotted home to double the score. 

The third goal came in epic fashion, with a mix up in Singaporean Hougang United’s defence as Le Manh Dung threaded the ball through their lines causing confusion as to whether substitute Joseph Mpande was offside or not, but the Ugandan took advantage and chipped the keeper who stood helplessly as the score turned to 3-0. 

Fandi’s nod was attempting to head it back to his keeper to hold, but he put a little too much power on it, with Zaiful Abdullah’s positioning betraying him, at the 80th minute.

Hai Phong end their AFC Cup campaign in second place, while Hougang United sit at the bottom of the group having lost all but one of their games.

"We well delivered our team's tactics in this match. The win will be a motivation for us in the upcoming matches in the V.League," said midfielder Lo, the MVP of the match.

Meanwhile coach Marko Kraljevic of Hougang United said Hai Phong deserved the win. Hougang made mistakes and players did not have their best fitness and spirit near the end of the game.

Hougang would review their players and seek new members to prepare for the new season next year.

In other match of the group, PSM Makassar of Indonesia produced a clinical performance beating Sabah FC 3-1 at Likas Stadium.

Despite the defeat, Sabah had already qualified for the next stage as the group leader, while Makassar stayed at third position and were out of the tournament./.VNS