The backdrop of Phuoc Long A was the setting for Hotshots versus Olympique De Saigon.
Both teams started strongly, testing each others positions, both pressing and when the opportunity arisen both playing on the counter and attempting to press and hold high in the final third.
This game looked like it was going to be won in the middle of the park and both teams attempted to play the ball wide and penetrate through the channels.
Olympique De Saigon more than held their own for long spells of the first half and were clearly a team that also wanted to win this game badly. However, it was Saigon Hotshots that opened the scoring 32 minutes into the game, with a deflected cross from Benoit to the on rushing outside of the foot from Etienne, who finished with great calm and composure to knock the ball past the keeper and into the net. This was his first goal in his first match and a huge turning point in the match. Olympique De Saigon gave it a last push before half time butHotshots were able to soak up the pressure, then attack on the counter.
The second half kicked off with the knowing knowledge that Olympique De Saigon would give all they could in the starting five minutes of the second half. With a free kick given with only two minutes of the second half played, the ball was whipped in from the right wing to be met by an Olympique De Saigon player Viet Luu, to knock it past the keeper, leaving the backline to look at each other in dismay.
The spirit and camaraderie of Hotshots again came to the forefront. The tireless workhorses going up and down the channels not only provided options and relief to the back line, but also attacking options going forward for the Hotshots. Olympique De Saigon back line began to tire as Hotshots pressed and with no option of substitutions, this was going to be a huge problem for Olympique De Saigon .Fifteen minutes into the second half, after a goal mouth scramble, the ball broke outside the box to the onrushing Kevin Fox, who hit it low and hard off the inside of the right post and into the net. With wave after wave of attack the Olympique De Saigon goalmouth was then laid to siege and after an inch perfect pass from Simone to Clem, Clem raced through and with an outstretched leg managed to poke the ball past the goalkeeper and with joy the whole team watched the ball roll into Olympique De Saigon’s empty net. With twenty minutes still left to play, only some fine saved from the Olympique De Saigon goalkeeper kept the score down, while at the other end Chris Harris had little or nothing to do.
The fulltime whistle blew, with 5 minutes of injury time played. Olympique De Saigon will be a difficult opponent this season and have a lot more to offer in the following weeks. Hotshots roll onto next week with 100% record intact.