V-League title moves within T&T's grasp
|As they close in on the V-League championship title, Ha Noi T&T get set to play Dong Tam Long An in the penultimate round of the tournament this weekend.— Photo tinthetheo247
HA NOI (VNS)— As they close in on the V-League championship title, Ha Noi T&T get set to play Dong Tam Long An in the penultimate round of the tournament this weekend.
Former champions Ha Noi T&T are on the top of the rankings but haven't got the title in the bag yet, unless they win this weekend's match while SHB Da Nang, Hoang Anh Gia Lai and Song Lam Nghe An either draw or lose their matches.
Long An won't make it easy for T&T on their road to a possible title victory. In their most recent match against T&T, Long An came out on top with a score of 2-1 at a National Cup quarter-final match on July 11. Since the game Long An have been on a six-match winning streak.
Long An can also rely on strong support from thousands of local fans at their home stadium. The team will also go all out to win as the game is considered a farewell party to captain Nguyen Viet Thang who will return to Becamex Binh Duong next season. A victory will be a great gift for him after one year of wearing Long An's jersey under a loan contract.
T&T have also been on a winning streak, ending their past seven games in triumph. But the team dominated last year's season only to fall behind on the home stretch.
"It was a bloody lesson that we will never forget," said manager Phan Thanh Hung of T&T. "We could not control the situation and lost decisive matches. We have changed a lot and up to now we have been partly successful."
SHB Da Nang can maintain their hope of defending their title if they beat Nghe An on Sunday.
But Da Nang may be short of several key players when travelling to Vinh City for the crucial game. Both Janjus Mirolad and Gaston Merlo, the team's top goal scorers, are struggling with injuries. Golden Ball midfielder Huynh Quoc Anh has been overloaded with matches since the beginning of the season. During the last match against Hai Phong, Anh suffered cramp and needed help from the team doctor. In addition, former national team members Nguyen Minh Phuong and Nguyen Sa are not at their peak, although they can still create effective passes to teammates.
Elsewhere in V-League action, Kien Giang will play Dong Nai, Hai Phong welcome Ninh Binh and Thanh Hoa meet Binh Duong.
Xuan Thanh's results wiped
The Viet Nam Professional Football Jointstock Company (VPF) has cancelled all the results recorded by Xuan Thanh Sai Gon in the V-League this season.
The decision was made at a meeting on Wednesday evening, after Xuan Thanh confirmed that it would boycott the remaining fixtures of the league in protest at what it sees as unfair treatment from the game's governing body. The team was docked points for what was perceived as a lack of effort in a recent games.
The points removal will affect a number of teams. Song Lam Nghe An suffers the worst, dropping from second to fourth position and now four points behind league leaders Ha Noi T&T.
Hoang Anh Gia Lai will no longer compete with Xuan Thanh this weekend.
Relegated Kienlongbank Kien Giang have been granted a sensational reprieve and will now re-enter the tournament, with V-League chief Tran Duy Ly confirming that no team would be dropped this season as Xuan Thanh were considered to be relegated.
According to Viet Nam Football Federation (VFF) chairman Nguyen Trong Hy, both the VPF and the VFF agreed with the decision. — VNS