Vietnamese star midfielder left out of French league game

By Lam Thoa   September 5, 2022 | 08:30 pm PT
Vietnam number one midfielder Nguyen Quang Hai did not play a single minute when his club Pau FC drew 2-2 against AS Saint-Étienne in a Ligue 2 match on Monday.

Pau FC head coach Didier Tholot used up five substitutions in the match, but Hai was not among them. This is the first league game of Pau FC that Hai did not get to play, after starting in one match and five other times on the bench.

Nguyen Quang Hai in a game for Pau FC. Photo by Pau FC

Nguyen Quang Hai in a game for Pau FC. Photo by Pau FC

Hai is struggling to compete for a spot in the lineup as Senegalese star Henri Saivet is currently the number one choice for the attacking midfielder position. Saivet has scored in three consecutive games for Pau, including the double from freekicks against Saint-Étienne.

Both Pau and Saint-Étienne were at the bottom of the table and this game was off to a less exciting start. They played slowly and cautiously, with each team only getting one shot in the first 30 minutes.

Four minutes later, Saint-Étienne broke the tie as Philippe Krasso passed it to Louis Mouton, who curled it in the far corner to open the scoring.

Pau have purchased many strikers this season but none of them could bring the goals. That responsibility was put on Saivet. In the 63rd minute, from a freekick close to the box, Saivet put it in the top corner and equalized for Pau. 16 minutes later, it was Saivet again with another freekick from the left flank to the corner to help Pau lead 2-1.

However, the home team failed to protect their lead as in the 85th minute, defender Xavier Kouassi committed a foul inside the box and let Lenny Pintor level 2-2 for Saint-Étienne from the penalty spot.

With only four points after seven games, Pau continued to sit at the bottom of the table. They are the only team that have not got a win in Ligue 2 this season.

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