Hanoi T&T secure top slot, Song Lam are on a roll
Hanoi still lead despite loss, An Giang up to second
By Vu Duc - The Saigon Times Daily
HCMC – Hanoi T&T won the top-of-the-table clash with Saigon FC 1-0 on Sunday to extend their lead at the top, while defending champions Song Lam Nghe An extended their unbeaten run by beating Khatoco Khanh Hoa 3-1 on Friday.
Beforehand, Saigon FC coach Lu Dinh Tuan insisted his team could pull off victory but it was a tough ask to win in Hanoi T&T’s backyard.
Saigon began without striking trio Christian Nsi, Nguyen Rogerio and Antonio Carlos and defender Nguyen Phuoc Tu.
Hanoi got off to a flier after just five minutes. National striker Nguyen Van Quyet breaking the offside trap before beating goalie Bui Tan Truong at the near post.
Hanoi dominated the first half but had only one goal to show for their efforts. The visitors had more of the ball after the break but they couldn’t break down the frugal Hanoi defense.
Hanoi are now sitting on 23 points, three points ahead of second-placed SHB Danang, who defeated XM The Vissai Ninh Binh at Chi Lang Stadium on Saturday with Saigon dropping to fifth.
Meanwhile in the central city of Vinh, Song Lam began with great confidence having been unbeaten all season. The home side were well in charge from the kick-off with Cheikh Abass opening the scoring with a 21st minute penalty.
National midfielder Nguyen Trong Hoang made it 2-0 with a fine strike in the 47th minute before Nguyen Ngoc Dieu pulled one back with a neat header in the 58th minute.
However, Hoang sealed victory for the home side with 15 minutes remaining.
With the victory, Song Lam, SHB Danang, who won 3-0 at home against Ninh Binh, and Becamex Binh Duong, who were defeated 2-1 by Hoang Anh Gia Lai at Go Dau Stadium, have 20 points each with defending champions Song Lam third on goal difference.
Elsewhere, Navibank Saigon thrashed Kienlongbank KG 3-1 at Thong Nhat Stadium, moving up to seventh on 16 points, level on points with Thanh Hoa, who crushed Dong Thap 4-0 at home.
Bottom side Vicem Haiphong drew 1-1 with Hanoi Club at home.
* First Division leaders Hanoi maintain their lead at the top despite a 2-1 loss to HCMC at Thong Nhat Stadium on Saturday, while Hung Vuong An Giang snatched second place from Can Tho after beating bottom-placed Tay Ninh 1-0.
Round 12’s results
Song Lam 3 Khanh Hoa 1 Navibank SG 3 Kienlongbank 1
Haiphong 1 Hanoi 1 SHB Danang 3 Ninh Binh 0
Binh Duong 1 Hoang Anh 2
Hanoi T&T 1 Saigon FC 0Thanh Hoa 4 Dong Thap 0
Junior Danang 3 Quang Ninh 0 Junior Hanoi 1 Quang Nam 0Lam Dong 1 Can Tho 0
Dong Tam Tiles 1 Binh Dinh 2
TDC Binh Duong 2 Dong Nai 0Tay Ninh 0 An Giang 1HCMC 2 Hanoi 1