Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Navibank Saigon 1-2 Kelantan


Ho Chi Minh City: Kelantan scored twice in three minutes late in the match as the Malaysian side came from a goal down to beat Navibank Saigon 2-1 on Tuesday to put themselves within touching distance of a spot in the last 16 of the AFC Cup.

Edison Fonseca put the Vietnamese side ahead at the Thong Nhat Stadium after 34 minutes and it appeared for a long time that the Colombian's seventh goal of the competition might be enough to send them through to the knockout rounds.

But Indra Putra Mahayuddin equalised with a superb free-kick in the 80th minute and Lebanese striker Mohamad Ghaddar then netted his seventh goal of the AFC Cup three minutes later to give the Malaysian Super League champions the win.

Kelantan moved three points clear at the top of Group H but Ayeyawady United's surprise 3-0 home loss to Arema Indonesia earlier in the day meant that they still need a point from their final home game against the Myanmar side in a fortnight's time to confirm their place in the Round of 16.

Fonseca had an effort ruled out for offside in the 25th minute but it did not take too long for the Colombian to make his mark as he put the home side ahead nine minutes later.

Luong Van Duoc Em made a strong run into the Kelantan box on the right and cut the ball back across goal. Nguyen Duy Khanh just failed to make contact at the near post but Fonseca was on hand 10 metres out to sweep the ball home.

With star striker Ghaddar on the bench nursing a thigh problem, Kelantan made few inroads into the Navibank defence in the first half. However, the Lebanese striker was introduced just before the hour mark and the Malaysian side began to look more threatening as the game entered its closing stages.

Ghaddar was denied superbly by Navibank goalkeeper Pham Van Santos in the 75th minute when he found space on the left of the box.

He then won a free kick on the edge of the Navibank box five minutes later, which Indra Putra fired unerringly into the left side of the net with Santos rooted to the spot.

And shortly afterwards, Ghaddar pounced when the ball dropped between two defenders just outside the Navibank box and advanced towards goal before he chipped a superb finish past Santos to give the Malaysian side all three points.

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