HCM CITY (VNS) — In-form Becamex Binh Duong and dominant Ha Noi T&T face off in a mouth-watering tie today in the 18th round of the Eximbank V-League.
Defending champions Ha Noi, who have won their last five games, lead the table with 35 points while Binh Duong are second with 32 points. But the former have a game on hand – eight to Binh Duong's seven — and a win for them could well settle the title race.
The two teams have not hidden their title ambitions since the very start of the season, and a title for either will see history being created as the first club to win three titles in the 14-year-old V-League.
Binh Duong, who have scored four wins in their last five matches, will hope for a win to keep them in the hunt.
They have some factors going for them — they have their whole squad available to play and it will be at home at the Go Dau Stadium; the visitors on the other hand will not have the services of their main striker Hoang Vu Samson, who is still serving a four-match ban.
In their first leg in Ha Noi in the opening match of the season, the home team crushed Binh Duong 4-1. But today's match will be a totally different story since Binh Duong have changed a lot, especially since the return of veteran coach Le Thuy Hai.
The match will also be a contest between the two most effective attacks. T&T's Samson, Gonzalo Marronkle, and Nguyen Van Quyet make up the V-League's most lethal striking trio, together racking up 37 goals while Binh Duong's Nguyen Anh Duc, Abbas Cheik Dieng, and Huynh Kesley Alves have accumulated 24 between them.
There will be two other matches today, with ninth-placed Hoang Anh Gia Lai hosting eight-ranked Dong Nai, who have lost all five recent games, and stuttering Hai Phong taking on Thanh Hoa, who are on third with 29 points and still in contention for the title. — VNS