|In form: Dong Thap players celebrate winning the V-League 2 title after overcoming Ha Noi FC in their last match of the season on Saturday. — VNS Photo Tien Thanh
DONG THAP (VNS) — Dong Thap broke into the V-League after two years, beating Ha Noi FC by a solitary goal at home in the final of the V League 2 on Saturday.
Phan Viet Dan scored the lone goal in an evenly played match seven minutes into the second half, with a beautiful curling kick into the far corner of the goal to the right of keeper Tran Anh Duc.
"We did not start the season well, losing 1-0 to the hosts Ha Noi FC, but we became more stable and connected as the season progressed. It was an up and down season for us but our players knew how to overcome the hard times," Dong Thap coach, Pham Cong Loc, said.
"Actually, we set the pace for a promotion from the fourth round to the end of the season, but there was some anxiety among the team members when we only got promoted in the last match of the season," Loc added.
With doubts surfacing over the team's ability to keep its place in the V-League, where Dong Thap have been relegated and promoted many times since 2000, Loc said he was not thinking of the new season and just wanted to enjoy the moment with his players right now.
Khanh Hoa were unexpectedly held to a goalless draw by already eliminated Tay Ninh, but still came in second with 23 points to secure their second automatic promotion ticket to the top-flight football competition.
Can Tho beat Dak Lak 4-1 at home to total 21 points and helped Ha Noi FC leapfrog into third place. Can Tho will now play against the bottom-ranked team in a play-off for a place in the V-League.
With the promotion of Dong Thap and Khanh Hoa, and another slot after the play-off, the V-League 2015 season will return to a normal format of 14 teams after a reduction caused by a financial crunch in the past two years. — VNS