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Sài Gòn draw with Quảng Ninh; Hải Phòng, Hà Nội T&T in virtual final

Update: August, 12/2016 - 21:50
Defender Sầm Ngọc Đức (left) of Hà Nội T&T vies for a ball against SHB Đà Nẵng in their V.League round 19. Hà Nội T&T will play Hải Phòng today. — Photo
Viet Nam News

HÀ NỘI — Sài Gòn FC drew with Coal Quảng Ninh 0-0 yesterday in the 20th round of the V-League.

The first half was sluggish with few clear-cut opportunities for either side.

In 17th minute Văn Ngọ of Sài Gòn hit the Quảng Ninh’s crossbar.

In the second half, the two teams continued to miss chances.

Quảng Ninh goalkeeper Tuấn Linh saved in the 56th minute from striker Duy Long of Sài Gòn.

Quảng Ninh’s best chance came in the 79th minute when striker Mạc Hồng Quân stole the ball, but his effort was saved by Sài Gòn’s goalkeeper.

Hải Phòng versus Hà Nội T&T is the match to watch in Round 20 of the V. League, which Malaysian referee Muhammad Nazmi bin Nasaruddi will officiate.

It is being labelled the tournament ‘final’ because Hải Phòng are the league’s top team and Hà Nội T&T are the runners-up.

Hải Phòng will have the advantage of playing on home turf but their key foreigners Stevens and Fagan will be missing from the line-up as they have been banned.

According to statistics, Hải Phòng have not won over Hà Nội T&T in the last five years in any local competitions. They have lost 11 and drawn 2 matches.

On the other side, Hà Nội T&T are in a good mood after three wins in a row, and they have their best formula in place, which today includes top scorer Hoàng Vũ Samson.

Hà Nội T&T have 35 points, two less than Hải Phòng. A win over Hải Phòng will push them to the top of the ranking.

The match between Sông Lam Nghệ An and FLC Thanh Hóa is a contest between football clubs of two neighbouring provinces.

Thanh Hóa will try to enter the top three as they have one point less than third-placed SHB Đà Nẵng.

Former champions Sông Lam Nghệ An are struggling at the bottom half of the ranking when there are still seven rounds to go.

Hoàng Anh Gia Lai and Becamex Bình Dương were in different situations at the beginning of the tournament. Becamex Bình Dương was set to defend their title while Hoàng Anh Gia Lai tried to avoid relegation.

Now, Becamex Bình Dương are at No. 9 and are faced with the risk of losing their crown. Hoàng Anh Gia Lai are at No 12 and running away from the SOS area.

They will play each other in Pleiku City this weekend.

Elsewhere, Cần Thơ will welcome Sanna Khánh Hòa; SHB Đà Nẵng will host Quảng Nam at the Chi Lăng Stadium; Long An in an attempt to escape their second-to-bottom place will visit Đồng Tháp, who need to win at least five out of the seven matches to avoid relegation. — VNS

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