Group G: Than Quang Ninh see off Preah Khan Reach Svay Rieng FC
Phnom Penh: Vietnam's Than Quang Ninh defeated Preah Khan Reach Svay Rieng FC of Cambodia 4-1 on Wednesday to register their first win in Group G of the 2020 AFC Cup.
Nguyen Hai Huy fired the Vietnam club into the lead before Jean Befolo Mbarga's brilliant goal just before half-time levelled the tie.
However, second half goals from Neven Lastro and Jeremie Lynch ensured victory for Than Quang Ninh as they moved to four points and second in the standings. Svay Rieng are third on three points.
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Svay Rieng’s Nen Sothearoth had the first look at goal in the third minute but the centre-back wasted his effort from outside the box as he failed to finish Thiago Santos’ pass.
Than Quang Ninh enjoyed the majority of possession but could not stamp their authority as Nguyen Hai Huy failed to find the target in the ninth minute, while Nghiem Xuan Tu’s effort sailed over the bar in the 21st minute.
The home side also had their fair share of misses with Sothearoth’s long-range effort just before the half-hour mark before Jonathan Campbell angled his header wide from inside the danger area.
Than Quang Ninh’s hard work finally bore fruit when they took the lead in the 36th minute after Mac Hong Quan found an unmarked Nguyen Hai Huy, who drilled home the opener from inside the box.
The Cam Pha-based club, who showed tremendous grit when they held Ceres Negros of the Philippines to a 2-2 draw on Matchday Two, however, could not contain the hosts just before half time.
Befolo Mbarga scored the equaliser with a solo effort when he dribbled past the Than Quang Ninh defenders at the top of the box before rounding off goalkeeper Huynh Tuan Linh for a sublime finish.
The Vietnam club continued to dominate after the break and were rewarded with a goal in the 57th minute when Neven Lastro nodded home Quach Tan Giang Tran’s corner.
Thiago Santos came close to scoring three minutes later following Soeuy Visal’s pass but the midfielder was unable to control his shot from outside the box.
Svay Rieng tried their best to find the equaliser but were constantly left frustrated in front of goal as they conceded again in the 77th minute.
Jeremie Lynch scored Than Quang Ninh’s third goal when he cooly finished off Quach Tan Giang Tran’s pass from inside the area.
There was more misery for Svay Rieng as Dao Nhat Minh put the Vietnam club 4-1 up four minutes from the end after finishing off Nghiem Xuan Tu's through ball when he sprinted down the field for an emphatic finish.
The two sides will meet again in Quảng Ninh on April 14 in the reverse fixture.
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