|Striker Nguyễn Văn Toàn of Hoàng Anh Gia Lai (left) vies for a ball against Sanna Khánh Hòa’s players during their V.League match on Sunday. The match end 1-1. — Photo baomoi.com|
HÀ NỘI — Hoàng Anh Gia Lai was denied a V. League win against Sanna Khánh Hòa after a referee awarded a controversial penalty to the latter in the dying moments yesterday.
Referee Nguyễn Văn Kiên decided a spot kick for the hosts when Zarour Chaher fell to the ground as he jumped up to receive a pass from Youssouf Toure from the right wing. He was supervised by defender A Hoàng of the visiting side.
Hoàng Anh Gia Lai aggressively rejected Kiên’s decision but he did not change his mind.
Trần Văn Vũ did not miss his chance, levelling the score for Khánh Hòa.
Earlier, captain Lương Xuân Trường opened the score with a free kick that hit the pole before entering the net in the 71st minute.
It was his third goal and all three were from free kicks.
With one point, Khánh Hòa step up to the third place in the ranking with 12 points. They are behind Hà Nội FC and Quảng Ninh Coal.
Hoàng Anh Gia Lai are at ninth place.
Leaders Hà Nội maintained the unbeaten run after coming from behind to beat HCM City 4-1 in the latest match of the seventh round at the Thống Nhất Stadium.
Nguyễn Hải Anh opened the score in the 23rd minute, giving hope to the hosts whose President Nguyễn Công Vinh resigned last week.
However, it was all they could do after former champions Hà Nội fought back with all three goals scored in the second half.
Captain Nguyễn Văn Quyết levelled nearly 20 minutes after the interval. Đỗ Hùng Dũng made it 2-1 just two minutes before the end and Oseni Ganiyu Bolaji added the third in the last second.
Hà Nội pocketed 17 points, three more than their nearest rivals Quảng Ninh who played with 10 men in a 1-1 draw against Cần Thơ.
Defending champions Quảng Nam suffered their third defeat, second in a row of the season, losing 1-3 to three-time winner Becamex Bình Dương on Saturday.
With three points, Bình Dương entered the top four, their best position since last year.
Quảng Nam, meanwhile, fell to the lower part of the ranking.
Hải Phòng finally tasted victory beating SHB Đà Nẵng 3-2 after three matches that they lost and drew. It has been a long time ago since beat this arch-rival in all local competitions.
Errol Anthony Stevens and Nguyễn Đình Bảo pushed the hosts ahead in the first 30 minutes of the match.
Võ Huy Toàn and Hà Đức Chinh restored the balance in the game in the second half.
When everyone was thinking of a draw, Andre Diego Fagan was not. He passed a perfect pass to Doãn Ngọc Tân who ran into the box and finished correctly to seal the win for the hosts.
Coach Trương Việt Hoàng could not keep calm after the goal. He jumped up and hugged all of the coaching board members.
“I always keep calm in every situation. But Tân’s goal was extremely different. It relieved all the pressure that we had been suffering from after three winless games,” Hoàng said.
He added that the win would make the whole team believe in their change of playing style from long balls to short balls in group combinations.
On the other side, coach Nguyễn Minh Phương showed his sadness at the post-match briefing.
“We work hard but could not have a positive result. It might be due to the lack of understanding between young and veteran players,” Phương said, adding that some players he hoped would perform did not reach their peak.
“Đà Nẵng are still searching for a change but we have not found a good solution,” he said.
In another match, Nguyễn Đức Thắng has been in charge of FLC Thanh Hóa for three days before taking part in the first match at the V. League this season. He secured a 1-1 draw against his former club Sài Gòn FC.
He said his team played well although there were a few things that needed fixing. Thanh Hóa must do better in the coming match and players had to take their chances.
Coach Phan Văn Tài Em expressed regrets about the draw, saying that Sài Gòn needed a little luck to win the game. However, being one point from an away ground was okay.
Nam Định pocketed their first win this year after beating former champions Sông Lam Nghệ An 1-0.
It was goalkeeper Quốc Thiện Esele’s day as he denied all Sông Lam Nghệ An’s finishes while Lê Sỹ Minh scored the only goal at the 52nd minute.
The win did not help Nam Định escape from the bottom of the ranking but was a strong push for the whole team.
“It is really a surprise because we just targeted one point from this game. My players did better than expectation. I am crying because I am happy. Let me thank my players for their great effort today,” coach Nguyễn Văn Sỹ said.
“The win will take a load of our mind. It will help us a lot to play in the coming matches. We know that a long and tough route awaits us.” — VNS