|Close call: Nguyen Hai Anh (left) of Dong Nai vies for a ball against Tran Dinh Dong of Song Lam Nghe An during their V.League 1 match yesterday. Dong Nai win 2-1. — VNS Photo Tuan Tu
HA NOI (VNS) — Dong Nai came from behind to beat host Song Lam Nghe An 2-1 in a round 11 match of the V League 1 yesterday.
It was an unexpected result for the team that, before the game, received the best team award for April, thanks to their outstanding performance over the month.
In April, the former champions won two games and drew one, scoring seven points, the highest among V League 1 participants.
Furthermore, their manager Ngo Quang Truong was dubbed the best coach, while striker Tran Phi Son, who scored two goals, received the best player of the month award.
However, Dong Nai put a damper on their happiness.
Only five minutes into the game, Son opened the score for the host team. He took advantage of goalkeeper Pham Van Phong's hesitation with a straight shot to the far corner of the net.
The early goal, however, did not work in favour of Song Lam Nghe, which do not hold the best record while playing against Dong Nai; they have lost thrice against Dong Nai, the team that hold the second-last position in the rankings, in their four most recent face-offs.
Dong Nai defenders did their job very well as they successfully stopped all of Song Lam Nghe's attempts.
They scored their leveller in the second half, just three minutes after half time. Nguyen Hai Anh scored from a short distance away from the net.
This goal dampened the spirits of Song Lam Nghe An players, which opened up several opportunities for the visitors. Taking advantage of one of them, Nguyen Hong Viet made the second goal for Dong Nai in the 65th minute.
In another match, Can Tho, which hold the bottom spot in the table, successfully tied 1-1 with second ranker Thanh Hoa on home turf.
Wasiu Akanni Sunday opened the score in the 28th minute, making it a memorable V League 1 debut for him.
However, the Nigerian striker wasted at least three threatening chances to double the result in the game, which coach Vu Quang Bao called an unlucky one.
This was a good opportunity for Thanh Hoa to narrow the gap in points with leading team Becamex Binh Duong, which was defeated 0-1 by Sanna Khanh Hoa on Saturday, but they failed to break through Can Tho's tight defence that put in practice their new coach's tactics.
Following a counterattack, they scored in the 68th minute when Hoang Dinh Tung's rapid tap-in was successful.
In Pleiku, Hoang Anh Gia Lai did not win the game against Quang Nam, despite having strengthened its line-up with both local and foreign players.
Even though all three new contracts were fielded, they did not make a difference, especially in their defence play.
Sanogo Muossa marked his return to the tournament with a goal from a narrow angle in the 19th minute.
The defence line-up made a series of mistakes before Tambwe Patiyo evened the score to 1-1, a result of a solo performance 15 minutes later. He had his second goal after a misunderstanding between Hoang Anh Gia Lai's halfbacks towards the end of the first half.
Substitute Tran Huu Dong Trieu saved the day for the visiting team as his free kick in the last minute found the net, leaving all Quang Nam players stunned into silence.
The V.League 1 is on a two-month hiatus as players have been called to serve the U23 and national teams that will compete in the Southeast Asian Games and the World Cup qualifier.
The tournament will resume on June 28. — VNS