Struggling V-League set to conclude
|Party time: Cristiano Roland and his teammates will look forward to lifting the V-League trophy when Ha Noi T&T clinch their second title at Hang Day Stadium this afternoon. — VNS File Photo
HA NOI (VNS)— The joyous celebration at Hang Day Stadium and the breathtaking race for second and third places may be the last resorts for helping the ailing V-League 2013 national football championship end with some impression left for football fans.
The season started with a lot of expectations from fans when it introduced some positive changes like increasing the prize money for the champions and equipping referees with wireless communication devices.
But it turns out to be one of the most beleaguered, riddled with frequent complaints about the refereeing quality, the competence of the organising committee, the accusations about the on-pitch unfair treatment and, to cap it all, Xuan Thanh Sai Gon boycotted the V-League in the last two rounds to oppose the decision, which the club said was unfair, to dock points from the Viet Nam Football Federation's disciplinary committee.
All those unpleasant problems, however, will be eased in some way in the last round of the season today.
Ha Noi T&T football club officials and fans will be free of any anxious suspense as they did three years ago in the last match of the season in Nghe An, when they come to the stadium with the mood for a big celebration.
At Hang Day Stadium today, Ha Noi T&T will be celebrating their second title at the end of the game against Hai Phong without having to worry about the result of the match, as they already put the seal on first place with an essential 2-1 win over Long An last weekend.
It does not mean, however, that Ha Noi T&T will not be aggressive against the visiting team. Instead the Ha Noi-based football club wants to pay tribute to their dedicated fans, who will make their presence felt stronger than ever today, by beating Hai Phong and finishing the season on a high note.
"There may exist sort of mood of suspense among players and coaching staff in waiting for celebration, but we will definitely be in a winning mentality," said Ha Noi T&T's head coach Phan Thanh Hung.
Do Van Manh, chairman of Ha Noi T&T's fan club, said that he planned a big parade in some streets in Ha Noi ahead of the match and to turn Hang Day Stadium into a real place of party and celebration.
It is not only Ha Noi T&T, as a team, that is in ecstasy but the club's individuals do have their own delirium with personal achievements.
The last round, however, is not just about the match at Hang Day Stadium and Ha Noi T&T, some other matches are also well worth attention.
The race for the second and third places will be another magnet for football fans as four teams are still in contention for winning two remaining positions with high prize money.
Song Lam Nghe An, who are second on 33 points, enjoy the biggest opportunity among the four teams - when they only beat hosts Dong Nai, an average team - to finish the season as runners-up.
Thanh Hoa face a huge challenge to keep their place on the table, as they have to travel to the home ground of defending champions and fourth-placed SHB Da Nang, at Chi Lang Stadium in Da Nang City.
Thanh Hoa, who have 33 points, one above their opponent, will make history if they finish in third place for the first time in the club's history.
Fifth-ranked Hoang Anh Gia Lai, who have 32 points, must win away against Ninh Binh and await results from the other matches to see whether they can finish the season with a place in the top three.
Binh Duong and Kien Giang face each other in a match which is of little significance. — VNS