Coach Guillaume Graechen was unhappy with striker Cong Phuong’s performance as Hoang Anh Gia Lai was held by a 1-1 draw to Hai Phong at Pleiku Stadium on Sunday.
“Cong Phuong did not play well in several occasions,” he said at a press briefing after the 14th round match at V.League, also the ninth consecutive round that Hoang Anh Gia Lai had no win.
Hoang Anh is in a serious dearth of strikers and Cong Phuong has maintained a stable place, he said.
“Hopefully, with the return of Hoang Thien and Van Toan, he will try harder.”
Belgium midfielder Moussa Dembele scored the first goal for Hoang Anh Gia Lai in the 17th minute as local fans were in thirst for a victory that would lift the team out of the current dangerous position in the overall standings.
Anthony Stevens leveled the score for Hai Phong in the 46th minute from a penalty, after Diego Fargan was brought down in an attack.
Hoang Anh Gia Lai had to play with 10 players from the 62nd minute after Franklin Anzite got a second yellow card, equal to a red card, for a violent fault against Diego Fagan.
“My players were in bad temper. And Hai Phong players had many tricks that frustrated Franklin,” Graechen said.
Despite the draw, Graechen said Hoang Anh Gia Lai had played well. “We will compete for more points in the final matches of the season.”
Hoang Anh Gia Lai stays at 12th place with 10 points, ahead of Can Tho and Dong Nai – the bottom two positions that face disqualifying threats.
Meanwhile, Hai Phong has dropped to number 5 with 23 points.
Becamex Binh Duong still leads the 14-team league with 29 points, followed by Thanh Hoa and Dong Tam Long An.