Taiwan national team manager Henry Vom on Sunday had a successful debut in charge of Taichung Futuro, winning 3-2 against league leaders Taipower with a goal deep in stoppage-time, which combined with the results from the other matches saw the gaps close at the top of the Taiwan Football Premier League table.
Besides the big win for Futuro, Hang Yuan edged Taitung 1-0, Taiwan Steel dominated National Taiwan University of Sport 4-1 and the Red Lions held Ming Chuan University to a 1-1 draw.
Vom took over Futuro after previous coach Toshiaki Imai returned home to Japan.
Photo courtesy of the CTFA
Imai, who also managed the national team in 2016, had done well with a string of wins early in the season as Futuro and Taipower traded places at the top of the table.
Sunday’s match was also a battle between Taiwan national team coaches, with Vom, who was appointed in February, taking on Taipower’s Chen Kuei-jen, who held the job from 2013 to 2016.
With Taiwan’s FIFA World Cup qualifiers having been suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic and with the future still uncertain, Vom has doubled up on his duties, much the same as Chen when he led Taipower and the national team from 2015 to 2016.
Hosts Taipower took the lead when Lai Chih-hsuan fired home a low shot in the 12th minute at the National Stadium in Kaohsiung.
Futuro’s South Korean striker Joo Ik-seong equalized on the half-hour mark when his dummy bamboozled Taipower goalkeeper Chiu Yu-hung.
Joo then grabbed his second soon after halftime when he received the ball and advanced into the penalty area to beat Chiu once again.
Futuro looked to heading for the victory until Ko Yu-ting lashed home a long-range shot three minutes from time to tie the match 2-2.
Just as it looked as though both sides had settled for the draw, Futuro substitute Lee Cheng-yun, whom Vom had put on in the 82nd minute, latched onto a long pass and headed over Chiu for the winner.
The loss saw leader’s Taipower remain on 26 points from 12 games, while Futuro moved up to 24 points in second, ahead of Hang Yuan only on goals scored after forward Chou Yu-chieh netted the only goal of their game against Tatung in the 86th minute in New Taipei City.
Tatung remain fifth, two points behind Taiwan Steel, but having played an extra game.
National Taiwan University of Sport are sixth on 10 points, while Ming Chuan University with five points are seventh, ahead of the Red Lions on goal-difference.
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