HA NOI (VNS) — Two-time winner Becamex Binh Duong has not lost at home since February 15, and again yesterday they defeated Song Lam Nghe An 2-1 at Go Dau Stadium.
It was Binh Duong's seventh V-League win of the season, helping them remain in the second place ranking with 23 points after 11 matches.
Binh Duong are three points behind the leader, Thanh Hoa, who also won on Friday.
During the match, Huynh Alves Kesley scored his seventh goal at the 40th minute. The naturalised striker's 25m kick went straight to the net, leaving goalkeeper Tran Nguyen Manh helpless.
Midfielder Hoang Van Binh, a former Nghe An player, gave Kesley the perfect ball to score.
The goal pushed the hosts out of Nghe An's domination, which began at the beginning of the match.
They gradually levelled the score and went ahead with threatening opportunities until the 70th minute.
Nghe An's and national best striker Le Cong Vinh broke an off-side trap during a counter-attack, before knocking out Binh Duong's goalie Quoc Thien Esele.
It was Vinh's 101st goal in the V-League.
Coach Le Thuy Hai of Binh Duong decided to improve his front line as Nguyen Tang Tuan and Suleiman Abdullahi in the field.
The experienced trainer proved why he was always one of the best paid coaches in V-League, as all of his activities brought positive results.
Tuan made a clever run to the box and tapped the ball, which went through Manh's legs into the net.
The hosts should have had a third goal near the end of the match, had Abass Cheikh Dieng not missed an easy opportunity when he faced off with Manh in the penalty area.
Nghe An's sixth loss saw them fall to eighth place, with only 13 points. The former champions will meet Binh Duong again in the first round of the tournament's second leg on April 27.
In another match yesterday, Dong Tam Long An beat Hung Vuong An Giang 3-1.
The result of the game, however, did not change their ranking position at the bottom of the table. Long An could only narrow the gap with the above teams.
On Saturday, defending champions Ha Noi T&T drew 2-2 with Quang Nam at Hang Day Stadium.
T&T are at the third position, with 19 points, seven less than leading Thanh Hoa, but they still have three spare matches.
Earlier, SHB Da Nang tied 1-1 with Hoang Anh Gia Lai. The two former winners are in fifth and sixth, respectively. — VNS