Taiwan Steel on Sunday came from behind to beat Taichung Futuro 2-1 and seize their 10th consecutive victory, giving them a three-point advantage at the top of the Taiwan Football Premier League table.
Taichung Futuro, who were in second place ahead of the match, looked on course to challenge for the title in New Taipei City when they opened the scoring in the 20th minute from a set-piece, with South Korean striker Joo Ik-seong credited for the goal, although replays suggested the free-kick bounced off a defender.
Taiwan Steel believed they had equalized just before halftime when Yu Chia-huang’s glancing header from a corner seemed to have crossed the goal-line before Futuro goalkeeper Tuan Yu scooped it out.
Photo courtesy of the CTFA
Despite their protests, the officials did not give the goal and Futuro clung on to their 1-0 lead.
Five minutes after restarting, Yu made his next chance count when he collected a cross inside the penalty area and scooped the ball into the net before colliding with Tuan.
Taiwan Steel grabbed the winner five minutes from time when midfielder Yao Ke-chi fired a shot from just inside the penalty area and Haitian striker Benchy Astama slid in to redirect the ball off the far post and into the net.
“It was an important win. I told my players to keep calm when they went behind, because they became too eager, got riled up and squandered their chances in the first half, but we turned it around in the second half with two goals,” Taiwan Steel manager Lo Chih-chong said.
With three matches remaining, Taiwan Steel are on 42 points, three points ahead of Taipower, who left it late to grab a 1-0 victory over the Red Lions in Kaohsiung.
Striker Kao Wei-chieh slotted home the winner in the 83rd minute.
Elsewhere, Ivorian striker Ange Samuel scored a hat-trick in Hsinchu County to lead Tatung to a 3-1 victory over National Taiwan University of Sport, while Hang Yuan beat Ming Chuan University 3-2 in Taoyuan when Lin Ming-wei broke the deadlock in the 59th minute.
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