Ex-champs fight for top spot in V-League
HCM CITY — Leaders Ha Noi T&T will take on second-placed SHB Da Nang at home today in the most anticipated match of the Eximbank V-League's 20th round.
Matches between the two former champions are always exciting, but today's match has extra importance since the teams are placed right at the top of the table.
T&T are leading with 36 points, just a point ahead Da Nang, and a draw is enough for the Ha Noi club to remain top. A win will see Da Nang go ahead.
T&T coach Phan Thanh Hung wants a win because face-to-face results will count if the two teams finish equal on points.
Da Nang, who have played one match fewer than T&T, hold the upper hand in that regard after beating their opponents 2-0 at home at the Chi Lang Stadium in the first half of the season.
Hung said he wanted his team to be on top when the V-League takes a month-long break.
In the day's other match, second-bottom Khatoco Khanh Hoa, who are striving to climb out of the relegation zone, face bottom-placed Hai Phong in Nha Trang City.
Tomorrow defending champions Song Lam Nghe An (SLNA) will have a difficult trip to two-time champions Hoang Anh Gia Lai (HAGL).
SLNA will not have the services of midfielder Nguyen Trong Hoang who has received three yellow cards, while HAGL have lost striker Evaldo Goncalves for the same reason.
SLNA, who have one game in hand but are nine points behind T&T, must beat HAGL if they do not want to be left behind in the title race.
Dong Thap, who have bounced back strongly from an indifferent period with five unbeaten games, will take on Ha Noi FC while Kien Giang will visit Ninh Binh. — VNS