|Thanh Hóa defeat Cần Thơ 4-1 to top the V.League again after the 19th round match. — Photo vietq.vn|
HÀ NỘI — FLC Thanh Hóa beat Cần Thơ 4-1 yesterday to top the V.League table again, after it had dropped to the No 2 position for two days.
Playing on away ground, Thanh Hóa met with a lot of difficulties in the first quarter under heavy pressure from the hosts.
However, they found the opener in the 27th minute after a rapid counter-attack.
Midfielder Nguyễn Trọng Hoàng, who was selected in the ASEAN Football Federation’s best 11 team for 2017, hit a straight shot which grazed a Cần Thơ player before entering the net.
The visitors made it 2-0 when Lê Văn Thắng broke through the hosts’ defence, before sending the ball to Iheruome Uche in the box. He headed it to the high far corner of goalie Bửu Ngọc.
Cần Thơ narrowed the score near the end of the first half, when Nsi Amougou Christian Jose passed five Thanh Hóa players, before beating keeper Tiến Dũng for a goal.
Cần Thơ rearranged their team and attacked aggressively in the second half, but their forwards could not make any foray into Thanh Hóa’s defence again.
The visitors easily found their third goal at the 75th mark through Hữu Dũng, whose hit from out of the penalty area was too hard for former national keeper Ngọc to save.
Hoàng then assisted Thắng to make his double in this match with a close tap-in during injury time.
Thanh Hóa are now on top of the tournament with 36 points, two more than Quảng Nam, who had jumped to the No 1 position last Friday.
Cần Thơ, who had 17 points after 19 rounds, have not yet secured their V.League spot for the next season.
At Thống Nhất Stadium, Hoàng Anh Gia Lai suffered a tragic 0-1 loss to HCM City FC in the additional time, when their goalkeeper Tô Vĩnh Lợi received a red card.
Lợi fouled Da Sylva out of his area and was sent off during the dying minutes of the match.
Da Sylva then made the free kick himself and scored the only goal of the match.
Earlier, Hoàng Anh Gia Lai travelled to HCM City without midfielder Nguyễn Tuấn Anh, who was out with injury.
Missing the "bridge", their strikers Nguyễn Công Phượng and Nguyễn Văn Toàn were left "hungry" at the front line.
The hosts did not give them any chance to get close to their net.
On the home side, HCM City also tried hard but could not attack Hoàng Anh Gia Lai’s defence in the 90 minutes.
With both two teams headed towards a draw, Lợi made a mistake few seconds before the close.
However, it was enough for the hosts to clinch a win.
Long An took the lead in their game against Sanna Khánh Hòa but failed to secure their second win in a row.
Wander Luiz Queiroz Dias and Nguyễn Thành Trung pushed their team ahead in the first half within seven minutes from 30th to 37th minutes.
Khánh Hòa’s Trần Văn Vũ narrowed the score before the interval, while Toure Youssouf made the equaliser in the 80th minute.
Long An is languishing at the bottom of the league with only nine points, while Khánh Hòa were placed at the No 5 spot with 30 points.
Sài Gòn, who drew Hà Nội FC 2-2 in the latest match yesterday, stood at the third position with 32 points, while Hà Nội with the same points are at the fourth spot. — VNS