Substitute shines in HCMC FC's AFC Cup victory

By Quang Dung, Xuan Binh   March 10, 2020 | 08:15 pm PT
Substitute shines in HCMC FC's AFC Cup victory
Nguyen Xuan Nam (L) reacts after scoring for HCMC FC during an AFC Cup match against Lao Toyota in Laos, March 10, 2020. Photo by VnExpress/Cao Toan.
A 2-0 victory over Lao Toyota on Monday has sent HCMC FC to the top of group F in the ongoing AFC Cup. 

The HCMC club was playing against the weakest team in the group and, despite playing away, dominated the game throughout. In the second minute, Nguyen Cong Phuong passed to Amido Balde and the resultant header hit the post even as goalkeeper Soukthavuy Soundala dived to make a save.

Balde snuffed a really good chance just 10 minutes later as Tran Phi Son's pass placed him in a comfortable position to score with nothing but the empty net before him. Somehow, he managed to miss.

In the 26th minute, Phi Son left the field due to injury. The HCMC FC attacks lost some bite without an orchestrator like Son. Four minutes into second half, Balde missed yet another chance to get HCMC FC ahead, trying to score from a corner, but the ball went over the bar.

The coach then decided to replace Balde with another striker, and the decision proved to be the right now. Nguyen Xuan Nam, top scorer of Lao League 2015 with 14 goals for SHB Vientiane FC, made an impact after just nine minutes on the field.

Xuan Nam prised the ball from a Lao Toyota defender's foot, sprinted into the box and essayed a powerful shot that hit the bar and found the net. In the 90th minute, he received a pass from Pham Cong Hien, turned around 180 degrees and curled the ball into the far corner to score a brace.

The victory against Lao Toyota gives HCMC FC a great chance to get through the group stages, as they get to play the remaining three matches at home.

AFC Cup: HCMC FC 2-0 Lao Toyota 

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