A 1-0 win over Da Nang at the V-League’s fifth round match Sunday helped Hoang Anh Gia Lai secure its first win after the Arsenal-supported academy students lost three consecutive matches.
In the second half, referee Tran Dinh Thinh granted host Hoang Anh Gia Lai a penalty after deciding that its famed striker Cong Phuong was brought down by goalkeeper Van Hung.
Montenegro midfielder Zdravko Dragicevic did not miss the chance with the penalty and securing Hoang Anh Gia Lai’s close win.
After the match, Da Nang coach Le Huynh Duc said the penalty was a product of “imagination.”
“I saw that it was not a fault by goalkeeper Van Hung. He also told me he did not even touch Cong Phuong’s foot,” Duc said.
“Things could have been different if there hadn’t been the penalty,” he said.
However, Hoang Anh Gia Lai coach Guillaume Graechen said the referee was favoring Da Nang.
They had dangerous blocks but the referee did not give yellow card and in similar cases abroad, Van Hung should have been sent off, he said.
After five rounds, Hoang Anh Gia Lai ranked eighth with six points, while Da Nang remained at the bottom with only one point.