South Korea’s premiere sports broadcaster SPOTV praised the Vietnamese footballer after Sunday’s game.
“Incheon lost, but Cong Phuong has proven his capabilities. It will not be long until Cong Phuong can have a hand in a goal in K League,” South Korean reporter Han-joon wrote after the club’s 1-3 defeat to Suwon FC.
“At Suwon, Cong Phuong is Incheon’s most dangerous player,” he wrote.
Having joined Incheon United on a one-season loan from Hoang Anh Gia Lai, Phuong is gradually winning the trust of both Incheon manager Jorn Andersen and the fans. The match against Suwon marked the third time he came off the bench to play for Incheon, this time after the one hour mark when his side was 1-2 down to the home team.
Phuong’s combination of dynamism, speed and skills added freshness to Incheon’s attack. In the 76th minute, he hit the ball over the crossbar; and just a minute later, he collected the ball in the box and found Kim Jun-ya, who failed to put the ball past the keeper.
The striker also made great efforts to support Incheon’s tiring defense, which saw him get booked for the first time this season. However, Phuong’s contribution was not enough for Incheon to avoid a disheartening 1-3 defeat.
“Albeit limited playing time, Cong Phuong was highly influential in the game. The crowd just kept chanting his name. He is small in stature, but keeps the ball and communicates very well with his teammates. He is able to make a difference in the K. League, which shows that the recent success of Vietnamese football is not exaggerated,” Han-joon wrote.
Kim Jaemin of Newsen wrote: “Cong Phuong was displaying all the skills that his Vietnamese supporters wanted to see. He is gradually adapting to K. League.”
With this loss, Incheon has now dropped to eighth spot in K. League standings. On Wednesday, April 3, Incheon will return home to face number seven ranked Daegu.
Meanwhile, Phuong’s international teammates Luong Xuan Truong and Dang Van Lam did not have a pleasant day at the Thai League. While midfielder Truong continued to watch his Buriram United teammates from the dugout as they beat Pattaya United 3-2, custodian Lam conceded two goals as Muangthong United lost 2-0 to Ratchaburi on Sunday.
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