V-League heats up as teams battle to climb the rankings
HCM CITY — The top and bottom ends of the V-League table are likely to see frenetic action this weekend as the 22nd round matches get underway.
In the upper half of the draw, the two top teams, with just two points separating them, will be difficult to dislodge from their positions as both are far ahead of the rest of the field.
The 2009 champions and current leaders, SHB Da Nang, just two points ahead of second-placed Ha Noi T&T, will face seventh-placed Binh Duong tomorrow.
Da Nang are on top form at the moment, having crushed defending champions Song Lam Nghe An (SLNA) in a delayed match and beaten Ha Noi FC in the 21st round last week. They are clear favourites to take full points against Binh Duong, who have not been consistent this season.
Ha Noi T&T, the 2010 champions, who ceded first place to Da Nang last week after an unexpected loss to Ninh Binh, will today have a good chance to make amends against bottom-placed Hai Phong, who look certain play in the First Division next year.
Meanwhile, teams at the lower end of the table, with a gap of just one or two points, face a tough task in their efforts to earn points and stay away from the relegation zone.
Dong Thap, whose unbeaten run of five matches came to an end after a 1-0 defeat by Binh Duong last weekend, face a strong Sai Gon Xuan Thanh at Cao Lanh today.
There is some ground for Dong Thap fans to believe in their team because the club has almost always come good on home turf and their opponent has not won many away games.
Tomorrow, Khanh Hoa, second from the bottom with 22 points, will have an away game against Navibank Sai Gon at Thong Nhat Stadium, where they lost to Sai Gon Xuan Thanh last weekend.
Kien Giang have their work cut out regardless of playing at home as they tomorrow face defending champions SLNA, who are still in contention to defend their title.
Two remaining matches are more evenly poised as Ninh Binh hosts Hoang Anh Gia Lai and Thanh Hoa visits Ha Noi FC. — VNS