HA NOI (VNS) — Becamex Binh Duong usurped Ha Noi T&T's top place at the V-League after their 3-0 victory over Hung Vuong An Giang yesterday at Go Dau Stadium.
Binh Duong now has 42 points, one more than T&T, who on Saturday dropped their win in the final minutes in a match against former champions Song Lam Nghe An.
Just eight minutes into the game, national midfielder Nguyen Trong Hoang stole the ball and delivered a straight kick to open the score for the host.
Five minutes later, it was 2-0 when Hoang kicked a smart pass to Abass Cheikh Dieng, who tapped it in easily.
Coach Nguyen Minh Dung of Binh Duong decided to rest some of his key players in the second half, but the team still won the match as bottom-placed An Giang could not find their form.
Abass broke through An Giang's loose defence to score the third goal.
The visitors had a chance to narrow the score near the end of the match, when Mac Hong Quan's shot passed goalkeeper Nguyen Quoc Thien Esele, but halfback Truong Dinh Luat came home and blocked it.
One day earlier, striker Le Cong Vinh saved Song Lam Nghe An from suffering their first-ever loss to defending champions T&T with his goal in the 87th minute in a 1-1 draw.
The draw helped the hosts save their loss-less record over T&T. In their 11 meets, Song Lam Nghe An won two and drew nine.
Nghe An did not play with their best team, as halfback Pham Manh Hung, defender Tran Dinh Hoang and striker Biayaga Paul Emil did not play because of injuries and yellow cards. Meanwhile, T&T travelled there without centreback Sam Gallagher, who has returned to the A-League and joined the Newcastle Jets. The 23-year-old former Australia U-20 international started three matches for T&T in this year's AFC Cup, having featured in both of the ACL playoffs where he received his first goal for the two-time Vietnamese league champions when he found the net in the 3-0 first round victory over India's Pune FC.
"I always had it in my mind that if had the chance to play in Australia again, I'd look to try and take it, so when the opportunity to trial with Newcastle came up, I jumped at the chance," Gallagher was quoted as saying on Football Federation Australia's official website.
"Thankfully, the trial went well and I was able to get a contract. I'm excited to be a Jets player and really looking forward to getting a good pre-season under my belt and giving everything I can for the club."
The score changed at the 13th minutes when the visiting side was awarded a penalty, which was converted into a goal by Hoang Vu Samson.
Nghe An, who received strong support from home fans who came to the stadium with 5,000 national flags, missed all of their chances to score, including Hong Viet's shot, which went a little wide although he was face to face with keeper Nguyen Van Cong at the 25th minute.
Coach Nguyen Huu Thang made some changes in the second half, but it was not successful until Vinh's brilliant header to the near corner of keeper Cong.
This was the eighth match Nghe An had not lost this season. They are closer to the target of top three.
In other activities, Hoang Anh Gia Lai lost 1-2 to Quang Nam on home soil; Quang Ninh Coal trounced Dong Nai 5-3; SHB Da Nang beat Hai Phong 2-1; and third-placed Thanh Hoa was defeated 0-2 by Dong Tam Long An. — VNS