HA NOI — Dong Thap Province's stadium has never been a comfortable field for the big teams of the V-League.
Former champions SHB Da Nang were reminded of that uneasy feeling when they had to work hard just to reach a 3-3 draw yesterday.
After losing defender Quoc Anh in the 14th minute of the match because of a direct red card, Da Nang also lost control of their defence and gave Hai Anh a chance to open the score with a close shot that easily found the net.
Foreign striker Gaston Merlo levelled the result in the last minute of the first half.
Hai Anh, 10 minutes after the break, was faulted in the box and the host received a penalty, which Felix Gbenge Ajala converted to their second goal beating goalie Thanh Binh.
Just 60 seconds later Ajala had his double from a counter-attack, taking advantage of the fact that Da Nang players had not yet restructured their line-up.
Just as many local spectators started to believe that Dong Thap would enjoy their third victory of the season, Merlo disappointed them with his second goal in the 78th and an assisted teammate Klechkaroski Nicolche to make it 3-3.
The draw helped visitors Da Nang maintain their position in the V-League top four after 11 rounds. Dong Thap now rank ninth, two steps higher than the last round.
In the early match on Saturday, Ha Noi T&T jumped to the leading position after their 0-0 draw with Hoang Anh Gia Lai, who played on home turf in Pleiku City.
Later, Kienlongbank Kien Giang unexpectedly defeated Vicem Hai Phong 1-0, while Khatoco Khanh Hoa lost 0-1 to Thanh Hoa.
Today, Ha Noi Football Club will meet Navibank Sai Gon at Hang Day Stadium, and Ninh Binh will receive defending champions Song Lam Nghe An. — VNS