NGHE AN (VNS) — A breathtaking strike by forward Le Cong Vinh in the third minute of extra time helped Song Lam Nghe An defeat Than Quang Ninh 2-1 yesterday in a 18th round V-League match.
Playing in Vinh City, the fifth-placed Song Lam Nghe An and 6th-placed Than Quang Ninh (both with 20 points), failed to put on the expected fight right through the first and most of the second.
In the first half, the teams mostly fought for the ball in the midfield and launched soft attacks on the opposite goal. The only risk that Than Quang Ninh took was a shot by midfielder Vu Minh Tuan that hit the post in the last minutes.
In the second half, Song Lam Nghe An seemed to step up efforts to score, but Than Quang Ninh were the ones to draw first blood in the 73rd minute, courtesy forward Emmanuel Sunday.
Song Lam Nghe An players launched a series of attacks in response, but failed to convert numerous chances. In the very last minutes of normal time, defender Vo Ngoc Duc scored the equalizer, giving the home team's fans some relief.
Cong Vinh then made amends for a rather ordinary performance by helping Song Lam Nghe An reverse the result, increasing his V-League 2014 tally to six goals.
With this result, Song Lam Nghe An gained an additional three points and cemented their fifth position, while Than Quang Ninh's final position is still uncertain.
In previous matches of the same round on Saturday, Dong Tam Long An and Hung Vuong An Giang both suffered away losses.
At the Chi Lang Stadium, Hung Vuong An Giang lost 0-2 to SHB Da Nang, and Dong Tam Long An was defeated 0-1 by QNK Quang Nam at the Tam Ky Stadium.
SHB Da Nang (26 points) is now close to the third position now occupied by Thanh Hoa (29 points), while QNK Quang Nam jumps to 7th position with 19 points. Dong Tam Long An (13 points) is still lingering in the lower rungs. — VNS