Matchday Five - Group H: Song Lam Nghe An FC 2-1 Tampines Rovers
Vinh: Vietnam's Song Lam Nghe An FC claimed a 2-1 victory over Tampines Rovers of Singapore on Tuesday, to put them within range of a 2018 AFC Cup Zonal Semi-final berth.
The Vietnamese side were looking to keep their unbeaten record at Vinh Stadium alive and opened the scoring after just fifteen minutes when Nigerian striker Michael Olaha headed home from Dau Thanh Phong’s corner.
Against the run of play the Singaporeans drew level with a little over five minutes remaining in the first half. The home side could only clear a corner to the edge of the area, where Japanese midfielder Ryutaro Megumi recycled the ball into the area, with Irfan Najeeb perfectly placed to loop a header into the back of the net, with goalkeeper Le Van Hung stranded off his line.
The visitors then came within a whisker of taking the lead early in the second half, but Khairul Amri’s effort hit the post and fell safely into the hands of Van Hung.
With just fifteen minutes remaining, though, the home side found the winner when Fahrudin Mustafic’s clearance from Le The Cuong’s strike fell at the feet of Ho Tuan Tai, who duly poked home to win the match for the home side.
The win means Song Lam Nghe An remain top of Group H with ten points ahead of their final match on the road against Malaysia’s Johor Darul Ta’zim in two weeks. For Tampines Rovers, however, the loss meant they remain winless in their campaign and are destined to finish bottom of the group.