HA NOI (VNS)— Le Cong Vinh was successful in a penalty shootout to send Song Lam Nghe An back to the top of V-League after yesterday's fifth round.
The goal by the three-time Golden Ball winner in the 79th minute gave them a 1-0 victory over Xuan Thanh Sai Gon on home turf in front of thousands of exuberant fans who nearly stopped the game in the first quarter.
At Lach Tray Stadium, hosts Hai Phong Cement beat defending champions SHB Da Nang 1-0.
Quang Hai scored the only goal of the match three minutes before the break. In the first seconds of the second half he had a chance to make a double but failed to beat Da Nang goalkeeper Thanh Binh.
It was the champions' first loss in five rounds while for Hai Phong it was the third win in a row.
In an early match on Saturday, former champions T&T Ha Noi went a short-lived top with a 3-1 victory over Thanh Hoa.
Thanh Hoa set up their domination in the first half and had the opening goal from a penalty in the 21st minute but failed to maintain power until the end of the match, leaving T&T a chance.
Despite the win, coach Phan Thanh Hung of T&T criticized the referee's decision that led to a penalty.
"I was very close to the situation and I saw what happened. My player (Hong Tien) did not make a fault," Hung said.
However, his team played well and overcame challenges.
"I am really happy and satisfied with what they have done today," he said.
In other matches, Kienlongbank Kien Giang drew with Ninh Binh 2-2; Dong Tam Long An were defeated by visitors Dong Nai 2-1 and Hoang Anh Gia Lai beat Binh Duong 2-0.
After its fifth loss, Binh Duong management board met to discuss the future of coach Cho Yoon-hwan. Losing five matches was the worst result in the history of the club which had twice won the V-League title.
Insiders said they decided to fire the South Korean and promote assistant Nguyen Minh Dung to replace him. The announcement is expected today. — VNS