V.League 1: Ha Noi held as Thanh Hoa bounce back

Gabriel Tan Gabriel Tan

Ha Noi took a stumble in their V.League 1 title pursuit on Sunday as they were held to a 2-2 draw by Sai Gon at the My Dinh National Stadium.

Ha Noi got off to a dream start when Hoang Vu Samson scored with a close-range header after just two minutes, but Cao Van Trien equalised for the visitors eight minutes into the second half with a superb dipping strike from the edge of the area.

Remarkably, Sai Gon then edged ahead nine minutes after when Marcelo Fernandes found the bottom corner with a precise header.

Ha Noi then required a 77th minute intervention from Ganiyu Oseni, as the Nigerian was left unmarked inside the box and blasted a shot home to earn his side a share of the spoils.

The draw saw the defending champions drop one spot on the table, as they were overtaken in second place after QNK Quang Nam beat Hai Phong 2-1 two days earlier.

After both sides failed to find the target in the first half at the Tam Ky Stadium, the breakthrough finally arrived in the 57th minute when Phan Dinh Thang put the hosts ahead with a firm drive after a late run into the box.

Hai Phong did, however, level the scores six minutes after the hour mark when Doan Ngoc Tan was left unmarked inside the box to head home a corner.

But, with six minutes remaining, Quang Nam went on to win it when a right-wing cross by Dinh Thanh Trung sailed through a sea of players before finding the back of the net.

Leaders FLC Thanh Hoa remain in possession of a two-point lead after cruising to a 4-1 win over XSKT Can Tho at the Can Tho Stadium.

First-half goals by Nguyen Trong Hoang and Uche Iheruome put the visitors firmly in control of proceedings, although Nsi Amougou netted the reduce the deficit for Can Tho on the stroke of halftime.

Still, Thanh Hoa were always in control of proceedings and reclaimed their two-goal cushion courtesy of a Nguyen Huu Dung effort in the 75th minute, before Le Van Thang rounded things off with a fourth in injury-time.

Elsewhere on Sunday, Dominique Da Sylva scored in the third minute of injury-time to help TP Ho Chi Minh beat Hoang Anh Gia Lai 1-0, while Sanna Khanh Hoa came from two goals down to draw 2-2 with Long An.

Finally, Friday’s other action saw Becamex Binh Duong play out a 0-0 draw with Song Lam Nghe An, while there was also a goalless stalemate in the clash between Than Quang Ninh and SHB Da Nang.

Photo credit: V.League 1