|Sanna Khánh Hòa players celebrate their goal defending champions Hà Nội at Hàng Đẫy Stadium in Hà Nội over the weekend. The two teams drew 2-2. — VNA/VNS Photo|
HÀ NỘI — Bottom-placed team Sanna Khánh Hòa secured a shock 2-2 draw with defending champions Hà Nội FC in V.League 1 action over the weekend at Hàng Đẫy Stadium in Hà Nội.
Khánh Hòa were the first team to take a point at the capital side's home ground this season.
While the draw still leaves Khánh Hòa bottom of the table on 10 points after 15 matches, the result could provide a much-needed boost in confidence.
The slip-up allowed HCM City to regain their place at the top of the table on 30 points, with Hà Nội just one behind on 29.
The hosts controlled the early exchanges of the match and put a lot of pressure on the visitor's goal, but were unable to score in the first half.
After the break, the hosts’ effort paid off with thanks to an own goal from Zarour Chaher of Khánh Hòa.
In the 81st minute, Nguyễn Hữu Khôi levelled the score at 1-1 for the visiting side.
Just five minutes later, Pape Omar Faye headed home to help Hà Nội lead 2-1, but there was more drama to come.
In the 95th minute, after Nguyễn Tấn Điền nodded in a dramatic equaliser after a free-kick had been flicked on.
“Hà Nội played enthusiastically but lacked luck. My players didn’t take chances and the defence also didn’t play well. Fixing these weak points will be a long process,” said coach Chu Đình Nghiêm of Hà Nội.
According to Nghiêm, the title race will be decided by the endurance of the teams at the end of a long season.
“The team with more endurance will be the winner. One game also can change many things, so in football, everything can happen,” Nghiêm added.
Meanwhile, Khánh Hòa coach Võ Đình Tân said a draw was what his team deserved.
"I think that the referees didn’t do any favours for Khánh Hòa. My team played very well. That is a driving force for us towards our next targets,” said Tân.
In another game at Cửa Ông Stadium in the northern province of Quảng Ninh, Hoàng Anh Gia Lai (HAGL) lost to Quảng Ninh 3-0 to drop to 13th in the 14-team league.
Just 10 minutes in, Nguyễn Hải Huy netted the opener from a goalmouth scramble after Rodion Dyachenko's effort had crashed off the crossbar.
Several minutes later, Dyachenko doubled the score after the ball came off the woodwork twice.
HAGL fought back in the second half but they struggled to trouble Quảng Ninh’s goal.
The Russian forward secured his brace and the three points by steering Nghiêm Xuân Tú's delivery from a corner in on the 75th minute.
Elsewhere, Đà Nẵng drew with Hải Phòng 1-1. — VNS