V.League 1: Top four slip up as QNK Quang Nam benefit

Gabriel Tan Gabriel Tan

QNK Quang Nam were the beneficiaries in the V.League 1 at the weekend as four of their title rivals dropped points to allow them to move just two points off the pace.

Coming up against leaders FLC Thanh Hoa at the Thanh Hoa Stadium, Quang Nam found themselves level at the break as Claudecir struck in the 38th minute to cancel out Pape Omar Faye’s opener.

The hosts then reclaimed the lead courtesy of a Le Van Thang strike in the 56th minute and it looked as though they were headed back to winning ways, but Hoang Van Phuc’s men had other ideas.

First, Dinh Thanh Trung pulled one back on the rebound in the 75th minute after his initial penalty had been saved by Bui Tien Dung.

Then, with five minutes remaining, a barnstorming run by Claudecir eventually saw the ball fall to Nguyen Anh Tuan, who sent an emphatic effort into the back of the net to win it for the visitors.

The result means Quang Ninh are just a couple of points behind Thanh Hoa and level with second-placed Ha Noi, who also had a poor day at the office as they were beaten 2-0 by Becamex Binh Duong.

Binh Duong, four-time V.League champions in the past nine years, may not be challenging this year following a run of poor results.

However, they could still have made a pivotal contribution in the title race as they dealt their old rivals a huge blow at the Go Dau Stadium.

Diogo Pereira got Binh Duong on their way after ten minutes, skipping inside a defender on the edge of the box before rifling a shot into the bottom corner.

And right on the stroke of halftime, the hosts grabbed the goal that sealed the result as Nguyen Tien Linh danced his way around Nguyen Van Dung before calmly finishing past Nguyen Van Cong.

Sai Gon, who entered the weekend inside the top three, were evicted by Quang Nam following a 0-0 draw at home to Than Quang Ninh.

Meanwhile, there also no joy for Sanna Khanh Hoa, who were defeated 3-1 by Hai Phong at the Lach Tray Stadium.

Things were looking positive for Sanna Khanh Hoa when Vo Ut Cuong equalised for them four minutes before the break, after Nguyen Dinh Bao had fired the hosts ahead after seven minutes.

But Hai Phong refused to give in and reclaimed the lead through an Errol Stevens strike on the hour mark, before Tran Quoc Than popped up in the 83rd minute with a goal of his own to put the result beyond doubt.

Over at the Can Tho Stadium, Nsi Amougou and Nguyen Quang Tinh grabbed second-half goals as XSKT Can Tho came from behind to beat TP Ho Chi Minh 2-1.

Finally, bottom side Long An notched just their second win of the campaign with a 2-1 triumph over Hoang Anh Gia Lai, while Le The Cuong scored the only goal of the match in the 63rd minute to help Song Lam Nghe An beat SHB Da Nang 1-0.

Photo credit: Ha Noi FC