Taiwan Steel celebrated a big win over Tatung in the Taiwan Premier League yesterday, while undefeated Taichung Futuro remained at the top of the table, although their lead is only one point.
Four of the eight teams were in action, completing matches postponed the previous weekend due to rain, with Taipower and Hang Yuan playing out a scoreless draw in Kaohsiung.
Taiwan Steel are sorting out their early-season problems as they chase the leaders and it showed against defending champions Tatung at the Jhubei Stadium in Hsinchu County.
Haitian striker Benchy Astama netted a brace and midfielder Kuo Po-wei’s outstanding solo effort sent the Tainan-based side to a 3-0 lead in the second half before Tatung’s Japanese midfielder Hirokimi Harada grabbed a consolation goal.
Taiwan Steel head coach Luo Chih-chong was happy with the performance, with his side pocketing their fourth win of the campaign to move to 12 points and fifth place on the table, three points behind Taichung.
“We had training sessions for players to work together as a team and we made adjustments to counter Tatung’s fast and skilled forwards,” Luo said.
“Benchy had a good performance today, as we put him on the right side to attack, where he can see the game situation much better. He linked up well with his midfielders throughout the game,” he said.
From a corner in the 35th minute, the ball was worked to the right side, where midfielder Yao Ke-chi sent in a cross for Astama to score with a spectacular flying header.
Just before halftime, midfielder Kuo dribbled past Tatung’s defense and rounded goalkeeper Shih Hsin-an for an outstanding goal.
In the 71st minute, Taiwan international Wu Chun-ching advanced before crossing past Shih for Astama to slot into an open net.
The other round 7 match featured close marking and hard tackles, with neither Taipower nor Hang Yuan able make a breakthrough.
Both teams are tied for second on 14 points.
In the round’s other games, which were played the week before, Taichung Futuro beat Ming Chuan University 1-0 in Taoyuan, with fullback Chen Ting-yang scoring with a header just prior to halftime, while National University of Sport midfielder Chen Chun-ting netted in the first half in their 1-0 win over the Taipei Red Lions in Taichung.
The teams have a two-week break before round 8 starts on June 14, when a maximum of 300 spectators are to be allowed with spread out seating and other regulations to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.
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