It was a case of tenth game lucky for Becamex Binh Duong as they turned on the style to see off Da Nang. While Binh Duong may have ended their hoodoo as such, the same can’t be said for today’s visitors. This was Da Nang’s fifth straight defeat on their travels and they’re still winless away from home this season. Without trying to sound cliche, it really was a game of two halves. Binh Duong looked like the side we saw earlier in the year, rapid distribution from Bui Tan Truong in goal and constant pressure on the ball. Let me explain how the game unfolded.

Beforehand, I was still questioning Binh Duong’s decision to let Romario go. He’s now plying his trade at Nam Dinh, in case you’re wondering. He was let go and replaced by Chinedu Udoka. Considering my affection towards Romario, I was sceptical at best towards Udoka. That very, very quickly changed. Whereas Romario would drop deep and try and make things happen, Chinedu Udoka would stay on the shoulder of the last defender and wait to pounce. Another player I was disappointed to see leave was Tanidis, the Greek centre-back. He’s been replaced by Ali Rabo. Again, after watching this game, also the correct decision.

Chinedu Udoka Had An Immediate Impact

Just over a minute had been played when Udoka laid on an attempt for a teammate. I’m not sure who it was as it was the opposite side to where I was sat, it should’ve been an early goal. The effort went wide. That was how the game went for the next twenty-five minutes, attack after attack after attack. Eventually, Binh Duong broke the deadlock. Nguyen Thanh Tao got his head to the ball before Nguyen Thanh Binh in the Da Nang goal could get there. A deserved lead. However, after looking over Da Nang’s last five games, one thing was guaranteed in this game. Da Nang were going to score.

Yao Kouassi equalised seven minutes later. He was left relatively unattended at the back post, took one-touch to set himself. His second touch nestled in the bottom corner. A fantastically taken goal. It wasn’t the goal of the half, though. That’s coming next. Le Tan Tai, who was head and shoulders above everyone else on the pitch, played a lovely through ball to Nguyen Tien Linh who headed over the keeper. Classy goal. Nguyen Thanh Binh was caught in no man’s land.

Udoka Lit Up Go Dau Stadium On His Home Debut

If we take a look at the stats from the first-half; Binh Duong had a staggering 62% of the ball, ten shots, and had the ball in Da Nang’s final third seven more times than Da Nang had it in Binh Duong’s. Da Nang were lucky to go into the break only 2-1 down, it could’ve been so much worse. Make no mistake, the second half was all about the away side. Believe it or not, Da Nang had 63% of the ball yet failed to muster a single shot on target after the break.

Udoka, on the other hand, got two goals on his home debut. Both headers from close-range. That wasn’t the main point, though. Udoka missed a sitter in between his first and second goal. He was two yards out. Open goal. I’m not entirely sure how it happened, but he hit it over. The mind boggles. Unfortunately, the miss didn’t feature in the highlights so I can’t show you, I’m hoping the full game gets released, so keep an eye on our Twitter page.

One More Thing

Becamex Binh Duong have got their mojo back. Just in time as well as the daunting task of Ha Noi in the Cup semi-final first leg looms. That game takes place on Wednesday. Surely, the plan will be to grab an away goal and hope for the best. A 2-1/3-1 loss would give Binh Duong a great chance of progressing. It’s just a wounder that the second-leg isn’t until September.

If I was a betting man and luckily I am, I’d be backing Becamex Binh Duong to win the Cup! Optimistic? Too right. Impossible? Nope.

Until the next time.