HA NOI — Ha Noi T&T regained the lead in the V-League after beating Hai Phong 2-1 yesterday on home turf in the capital city.
The hosts opened their attack as soon as the match began with strikers Nguyen Van Quyet, Gonzalo Marronkle and Samson Kayode Olaleye creating many challenges to coach Le Thuy Hai's players.
T&T's two foreign strikers, who were faster than Hai Phong's defenders, received a barrage of long-distance passes to threaten the visitor's goal.
Olaleye opened the score at the 18th minute, converting an accurate pass from Quyet on the left wing. The Nigerian player previously missed at least three chances at scoring.
Hai asked his players to focus less on defence and instead ramp up their counter-attacks. However captain Thiago Dos Santos who is consider the ‘ball provider' of the team, was boxed in by T&T players for most of the match. Santos' inability to break free resulted in forwards Hoang Dinh Tung and Andre Diego Fagan lacking many chances to get the ball and score.
The hosts doubled the result just five minutes after the half-time break when Vo Duy Nam won the ball for a straight shot which touched the pole as it hit the net, leaving goalie Dau Ngoc Tan with no time to react.
The second goal made coach Hai worried. He decided to replace Santos with Kavin Elroy Bryan, who brought new breath to the team.
But it wasn't until the last minutes of the match that the visitors earned a goal when Tung took full advantage from a mistake by T&T keeper Duong Hong Son, who had failed to hold the ball in the box.
With the fifth win of the season, T&T pocketed 17 points, two more than SHB Da Nang who jumped to the lead of the league after beating Becamex Binh Duong 2-1 on Saturday.
In other matches yesterday, hosts Hoang Anh Gia Lai defeated Ninh Binh 2-1 in Pleiku City while Sai Gon FC trounced Dong Thap 3-1.
Earlier on Friday, three-time Golden Ball winner Le Cong Vinh made a double to help Ha Noi FC beat hosts Thanh Hoa 5-3. Meanwhile defending champions Song Lam Nghe An had their sixth draw after eight rounds when they tied 2-2 with underdogs Kienlongbank Kien Giang.
Also on Friday Khanh Hoa won 3-0 against Navibank Sai Gon to jump from 11th to eighth place with eight points. — VNS