Home teams face risk of losing points
|Good times: Quang Ninh Coal players enjoy a goal during their V-League's ninth round match against defending champions Ha Noi T&T. They will host leading team Thanh Hoa on home turf today. — VNS Photo Tuan Tu
HCM CITY (VNS)— Home teams face a high risk of losing points when they enter the 14th round matches as underdogs in the Eximbank V-League 2014 this weekend.
Seventh-ranked Quang Ninh Coal will today host leaders Thanh Hoa, to whom they lost 2-3 last Friday, at Cam Pha Stadium. The team will be seeking revenge on coach Mai Duc Chung's club, a feat that will pose a huge task for coach Dinh Cao Nghia.
Losing four out of five recent games, beginning with the surprisingly 3-0 defeat at home against Hai Phong, definitely brought down Quang Ninh, a newly-promoted club. This occurred in the first phase of the season, following a good start.
But Thanh Hoa, not considered one of the pre-season title contenders, showed that they deserve the current leading position because of their consistent form.
After their surprisingly humiliating 8-0 defeat by Dong Nai two weeks ago, they bounced back strongly to put the misery behind them to overcome Quang Ninh.
Like Quang Ninh, Hung Vuong An Giang, another newly promoted team, re-meet Dong Tam Long An, to whom they lose 3-1 last weekend.
A win is a far cry for the rock-bottom hosts, which have received a six-pointer for having not secured a single win so far this season.
The encounter of two fading football forces, Hoang Anh Gia Lai and SHB Da Nang, who are at sixth and fifth places, with 15 and 14 points, respectively, at Pleiku City, is probably the most balanced game of the round.
While the glory has been absent from for the two-time champions Gia Lai over the last decade, with their last title in 2004, Da Nang are no longer as formidable as they were a few years ago.
Song Lam Nghe An, who lost 2-1 to their rivals last weekend, face an even more daunting job as they again meet high-flying Becamex Binh Duong, unbeaten in nine games. The latter have won eight and drawn one, to rise to second place with 23 points.
Binh Duong's playmaker Nguyen Trong Hoang, who has received three yellow cards, will miss a chance to play at the stadium that has been a platform for his football career from a very young age.
Dong Nai are probably the only home team the most likely to win, hosting Hai Phong, whose away form has not been impressive, winning only one in five matches.
Both teams will enter the match fresh because they did not have to play their last week matches with Ninh Binh, who withdrew from the league.
In a late match on Monday, a full point is not on the cards for Quang Nam against the defending champions Ha Noi T&T, who are doing well in both domestic league and the Asian Football Confederation Cup. — VNS