Thanh Hóa against Đà Nẵng in the V.League 1 over the weekend. Thanh Hóa lost 1-0. — Photo vietnam9.net
HÀ NỘI — Thanh Hóa's hopes of staying in the V.League 1 suffered a blow on Saturday, as a 93rd-minute winner from Đà Nẵng ensured they stayed second from bottom in the table.
The 1-0 defeat in Đà Nẵng coupled with bottom side Khánh Hòa's shock 3-0 win over Nam Định means Thanh Hoá are only a point off bottom with two games to go.
Đà Nẵng meanwhile ensured they can't be relegated and sit in the fifth spot on 33 points.
In the 14-team V.League 1, the bottom team get automatically relegated while the team in 13th faces a playoff against the second placed V.League 2 team.
In desperate need of a win, the away side attacked from the opening whistle, but couldn't convert their chances into goals.
Just as it seemed they would have to settle for a point, disaster struck.
In the third and final minute of stoppage time, Thanh Hóa were caught in possession and hit on the counter. Đặng Anh Tuấn played a through ball to striker Phan Văn Long, who hammered the ball into the top corner past goalie Lương Bá Sơn.
The final whistle sounded soon after, condemning Thanh Hóa to their seventh consecutive defeat. The northern side are currently in the relegation playoff spot, a season after finishing second in the league.
In the Nam Định against Khánh Hòa match, goalie Nguyễn Tuấn Mạnh kept a rare clean sheet to help his side to a 3-0 win at home.
“My teammates and I made every effort in this match. After seeing the result of the match between Thanh Hóa and Đà Nẵng, we tried more and targeted three points,” said Mạnh, who has been called up to the national team to prepare for upcoming World Cup qualifiers.
The victory leaves Khánh Hòa bottom on 24 points, but Thanh Hoá are in sight on 25 points.
The league only has two rounds of fixtures to go, but it will temporarily stop for a month for the national team games against Malaysia and Indonesia in October.
“The long rest will affect Khánh Hòa as the whole team are very excited and united. I am afraid that after a long time, my team won’t play well,” said Mạnh. — VNS