Captain Phạm Văn Thắng of Thanh Hoá runs a ball during V.Laeague match between Thanh Hoá and Hải Phòng. Thanh Hoá lose 0-3. Photo vtc.vn
HÀ NỘI Hải Phòng pulled themselves away from relegation danger with a 3-0 win over fellow strugglers Thanh Hoá away in Vinh City.
It was a poor start for Mai Xuân Hợp in his V.League 1 debut after he was appointed Thanh Hoá's manager five days ago.
The V.League’s youngest coach’s side, on 25 points, dropped to third from the bottom after a fourth defeat in a row.
Hải Phòng just needed 12 minutes to open the scoring, as Nguyễn Thành Đồng poked him in the box from a corner.
Thanh Hóa's front line struggled without star men Rimario Allando Gordon and Errol Anthony Stevens and couldn't penetrate the away side's defence.
Hợp strengthened the team’s midfield when he sent on midfielder Trọng Hùng in the second half but it was not enough to turn things around.
Hải Phòng doubled the score when Lê Phạm Thành Long fired a fantastic strike in from the edge of the box, leaving goalkeeper Tô Vĩnh Lợi with no chance.
Jeremie Lynch made in 3-0 in injury time.
The result leaves the northern port side in 10th place in the table on 26 points, three clear of the relegation playoff spot.
In Sunday's other fixture, hosts Sanna Khánh Hoà lost 1-4 to Sông Lam Nghệ An in Nha Trang City.
Hồ Tấn Tài once in each half while Joel Vinicius and Micheal Olaha scored one each after the break.
Khánh Hoà's only joy was through a close-range Nguyễn Hữu Khôi goal in the 35th minute.
Nghệ An climb to fourth in the ranking with 30 points, while Khánh Hoà remain rooted to the bottom of the table on 20 points.
HCM City remained in second position and narrowed the gap with leaders Hà Nội FC after their 3-1 win over Quảng Ninh on Saturday.
HCM City have 38 points and are five points behind the defending champions who beat SHB Đà Nẵng 2-1 on Friday.
The southern side's Victor Mansaray scored a double in the sixth and 36th minutes, while Vũ Quang Nam netted 16 minutes in.
Quảng Ninh grabbed their only goal in the 35th minute through Xuân Hùng before strikers Mạc Hồng Quân and Rod Dyachenko missed threatening chances near the end.
In another match, Sài Gòn FC grabbed three important points after beating Viettel 1-0 away from home.
Vũ Tín scored the winner in the ninth minute to push Sài Gòn out of the bottom three to 11th.
Viettel not only lost but also suffered a big blow when key midfielder Nguyễn Trọng Hoàng tore a thigh ligament and looks set to miss a month of action. VNS