HA NOI — An injury to top striker Le Cong Vinh compounded Ha Noi FC's misery as they played out a goalless draw against Song Lam Nghe An yesterday's V-League round 10 in the capital.
|Battle for supremacy: Song Lam Nghe An player Nguyen Trong Hoang (left) vies for the ball against a Ha Noi FC defender during their 0-0 match in the V-League round 10 yesterday. — VNS Photo Quang Thang
The visitors looked the more likely of the two to take all three points, with foreign strikers Bebbe Gustave Anicet and Hector Hughtun Kerin testing goalie Nguyen Minh Phong time and again.
Vinh, who received solid support from captain Pham Thanh Luong and striker Anjembe Timothy before he was forced off, was unable to break through the Nghe An defence.
Midway through the first half, he went down with a leg injury, leaving his teammates with an uphill task against the defending champions.
His absence also forced coach Nguyen Thanh Vinh to change his tactics to counter-attack.
While the host defenders had to work hard to keep their net clean, their forwards had to wait until the 62nd minute for their first proper opportunity when midfielder Nguyen Hai Nam shot just wide.
The draw was also a disappointment for the visitors as it was their eighth in ten games.
They have 14 points and remain sixth in the table. They will travel to Ninh Binh Province, some 100km from Ha Noi, to play The Vissai Ninh Binh on March 26.
Ha Noi are ninth with 11 points. In their next match they will face Navibank Sai Gon who beat former champions SHB Da Nang 3-1 in another earlier match yesterday.
In today's games, Hai Phong will play Becamex Binh Duong, Kienlongbank Kien Giang are to face Thanh Hoa and Khatoco Khanh Hoa will meet Ha Noi T&T.
Tomorrow, Ninh Binh will clash with surprise league leaders Sai Gon FC, while Dong Thap will welcome two-time champions Hoang Anh Gia Lai. — VNS