HCM CITY — SHB Da Nang claimed the 2012 Eximbank V-League title on Sunday following a dramatic finale, but organisers have a lot of work ahead of them if they want to improve the top-flight league.
In its first year under the management of Viet Nam Professional Football (VPF), the V-League got off to a promising start, but some familiar problems continued to plague it.
The quality of refereeing, one of the main reasons for the very birth of the VPF, remains an area that requires close attention next season despite the higher wages paid to referees.
Song Lam Nghe An holds draws record
Song Lam Nghe An set a record for the number of draws in a season when they shared points in 14 out of 26 matches.
Le Huynh Duc's Da Nang scored both the most number of goals overall, 47, and the most number of away goals.
Sai Gon Xuan Thanh had the best goal difference of 20, thanks to conceding the fewest number of goals (23).
Ha Noi FC scored the largest number of home goals, while Hai Phong scored the fewest – only 27 – but conceded the most at 59.
Nigerian striker Timothy Anjembe ended Argentinian Gaston Merlo's reign as the top scorer since 2009 after scoring twice in the match against Hai Phong to take his season's tally to 17, one goal more than Merlo.
The match between Ha Noi T&T and Sai Gon Xuan Thanh in the last round attracted the largest crowd of the season of 25,000. — VNS
Players' indignant reaction to decisions was a constant sight during the season.
Though the VPF provided the referees with walkie-talkies during the last six rounds of the season to improve communication with linesmen, many teams were unhappy with decisions.
Another problem that has been festering for years is the relationship between SHB Da Nang, Ha Noi T&T, and businessman Do Quang Hien, who owns both clubs.
This has led to constant suspicion and allegations from fans that Ha Noi tried to draw with Sai Gon Xuan Thanh on Sunday to enable SHB to win the title.
The suspicion will only disappear if the VPF can ensure that no one can own more than one club.
The VPF also need to work with the Viet Nam Football Federation and the National Administration of Physical Exercise and Sports to reach agreement on the official name of the league.
Throughout the 2012 season the media was using two names – the V-League and the Vietnamese Super League. The administration had wanted the letter V [for Viet Nam] included in the name but the VPF and VFF were unable to agree on a name. — VNS