|Winning ways: SHB Da Nang players celebrate their victory over Dong Tam Long An yesterday. — Photo dantri.com.vn
HA NOI (VNS)— SHB Da Nang started the V-League season with a 3-1 home victory over Dong Tam Long An yesterday.
Merlo Gaston opened the scoring at the 39th minute after break into Long An's box to beat goalkeeper Nguyen Tien Phong.
It was the second opportunity for the Argentinean striker after a number went begging in the opening minutes of the game.
Halfback Adrian Valentic's goal brought the score to 2-0 during a rare attempt 10 minutes after the break. The Croatian had an easy tap-in from a free kick in the right wing.
David Mrwanda narrowed the match to 1-2 for the visitors with a rapid shot when receiving a bounced ball in the box. None of his former club's defenders could react quickly enough.
Meanwhile, Da Nang's newcomer Mamic Bojan pocketed a goal in his debut at the 75th during a counter-attack when the Croatian headed straight to the net.
In other matches yesterday, Song Lam Nghe An beat host Quang Ninh Coal 1-0 and Dong Nai tied Ninh Binh 2-2.
On Saturday, defending champions Ha Noi T&T proved their power in the opening match with a 4-2 victory over title candidate Becamex Binh Duong.
The wealthy Binh Duong spent large amounts of cash to lure local stars to their squad.
The new team scored in the second quarter as Cheikh Dieng Abass shot with a straight kick.
However, the stars seemed not to play hard enough to make the 11-in-one team. They were dominated in the second half when coach Phan Thanh Hung of T&T made a small change, asking Gonzalo Marronkle to pair with Hoang Vu Samson in the front line.
The duo, who have played together for several years, stirred up the Binh Duong's defence. They scored three out of four goals in 20 minutes for the hosts at Hang Day Stadium. The levelled goal went to Hector Vaghaun at the 46th.
Also, national team member Nguyen Trong Hoang found another winner for Binh Duong with only minutes to the end.
In the latest matches, Quang Nam won 1-0 over Hung Vuong An Giang and Hai Phong drew Thanh Hoa in a goalless match.
Ha Noi T&T topped the ranking table, sharing the same three points with Da Nang, Nghe An and Quang Nam, but had a better difference in goals.
This season, the winners of the league will receive VND4 billion (US$190,000) in cash. Also, the first and second runners-up will take VND2 billion and VND1 billion, respectively.
Bonuses will also be offered in new categories, such as team of the season, the club that best uses young players, best young player of the year and best player on each club, as voted by fans. — VNS