HA NOI (VNS)— Hoang Anh Gia Lai gave themselves a chance of staying in V.League 1 while Becamex Binh Duong moved a step closer to winning the title after their victories in the 23rd round yesterday.
|Another chance: Striker Nguyen Van Toan (left) of Hoang Anh Gia Lai celebrates with a teammate after scoring an opening goal in a match against Dong Nai in the V.League 1's round 23. Hoang Anh Gia Lai win 2-1. — VNS Photo Tuan Tu
Hoang Anh Gia Lai beat relegation rivals Dong Nai 2-1 away at a stadium they have never won at before.
It was the first match of this season Hoang Anh Gia Lai were without their most important striker Le Cong Phuong, due to suspension.
However, his absence did not affect the young squad who are determined to play in the top flight for a second year in a row with their new group of home-grown talent.
Dong Nai enjoyed strong home support, and nearly opened the scoring in the fourth minute when Nsi's shot fizzed wide.
The visiting side however found the net just five minutes later.
Nguyen Van Toan converted a perfect pass from the left wing from midfielder Nguyen Hoang Thien to send the opener past goalkeeper Thanh Diep.
Dong Nai had been given the added incentive before the match of a double bonus if they won, and continue to push forward.
They needed just eight minutes for Tcheuko Minh to find the net with a sharp shot past goalie Van Tien.
Tran Vu made it 2-1 for Hoang Anh Gia Lai in the 62nd minute with 20m free kick after missing several chance in the first half.
Dong Nai wasted their best chance when Hai Anh's penalty hit the bar.
The victory lifted Hoang Anh Gia Lai to second from bottom with 20 points, with Dong Nai propping up the table with 17 points.
Hoang Anh Gia Lai next meet Ha Noi T&T at home while Dong Nai face Dong Tam Long An.
Binh Duong extended their gap over FLC Thanh Hoa to five points after beating them 5-2 yesterday.
Former national striker Nguyen Anh Duc needed only four minutes to find the goal.
Captain Nguyen Trong Hoang and Abass scored a brace to make it 3-0, but Thanh Hoa's Omar narrowed the gap with a close-range shot at the end of the first half.
Mose and Quang Vinh got their names on the scoreboard for the host team while Le Van Tan bagged the second for Thanh Hoa.
Binh Duong need just four points from the last three matches to defend their title.
They will travel north to face Hai Phong next week.
In other games, Ha Noi T&T rose into the top three after s 3-0 win over Sanna Khanh Hoa at Hang Day Stadium.
Former champions SHB Da Nang defeated Can Tho 3-1, Quang Ninh Coal beat Dong Tam Long An 3-1, Song Lam Nghe An overcame Dong Thap 1-0, and Quang Nam trounced Hai Phong 5-0. — VNS