HCM CITY — SHB Da Nang won Viet Nam's top-flight football championship after beating Ninh Binh in an away game in the last round of Eximbank V-League yesterday.
|Best: SHB Da Nang celebrate after winning Viet Nam's top-flight football championship yesterday.
A goal from defender Vo Hoang Quang in the first half and a double from Huynh Quoc Anh in the second half secured the 3-1 win over Ninh Binh, whose consolation goal came from Moussa Sanogo.
With the win, Da Nang got a total of 48 points after 26 rounds of the V-League 2012, which consists of 14 teams, to leapfrog from third place to first place and claim the title.
Da Nang, who also won the competition in 1992 and 2009, became the third team to win the 33-year-old top-flight football championship more than twice after The Cong (five titles) and Cang Sai Gon (four titles).
Da Nang's coach Le Huynh Duc, 40, also became the youngest-ever coach to win two V-League titles (2009, 2012) after the competition was called V-League in 2001.
"I am a little bit surprised with the title because Ha Noi T&T and Sai Gon Xuan Thanh (SGXT) had the advantage in the last round," Duc told Viet Nam News on the phone.
"But I believed Da Nang could win the title and we did it. I am very happy because this is the second title I have won with Da Nang."
Ha Noi T&T had to settle for second place with 47 points after a goalless draw against SGXT in an away game at the Thong Nhat Stadium.
This is the second time in a row Phan Thanh Hung and his team Ha Noi T&T lost the title in the last match of the V-League. Last season, the team also finished second after an away match against Song Lam Nghe An.
SGXT, coached by a managing director after sacking Lu Dinh Tuan after the first half of the season, finished its first season in the V-League with 46 points and ranked third.
Ha Noi T&T and SGXT entered the last round of the V-League in more commanding positions to win the title than Da Nang, given that a win would push them to the top of the table and crown the V-League.
But both teams were playing it safe in the first half, in a 20,000-seat stadium filled to capacity that saw Ha Noi T&T dropping deep in defence and SGXT failing to convert more possession into goal-scoring chances because of a lack of cohesion.
The clearest chance in the first half belonged to Ha Noi T&T when Cristiano Roland headed back a corner kick to unmarked Gonzalo, whose goal-bound volley from close range was blocked by a defender.
News filtered through at the beginning of the second half that Da Nang were leading Ninh Binh 3-0, and would take the title if the game remained in a stalemate.
Ha Noi T&T had chances to break the deadlock in the first minute of the second half after Nguyen Van Quyet fed the ball to Samson Kayode, who shot straight at SGXT goalkeeper Bui Tan Truong.
The rest of the second half was controlled by SGXT, who looked more likely to win the match, with Antonio Carlos, Nsi Amougou and Huynh Kesley Alves working hard up front.
But Carlos and Amougou sent golden opportunities begging, and with them the chance of claiming the V-League in SGXT's debut season.
Despite beating Thanh Hoa 3-2, second from bottom Dong Thap were relegated after Ha Noi, Khanh Hoa and Kien Giang, who were two points ahead of Dong Thap, all won yesterday. — VNS