Da Nang begin V-League on track
Last year VLeague"s runner-up Da Nang won 1-0 on their home turf in Chi Lang Stadium over former champion Hoang Anh Gia Lai in the first round of…
Last year VLeague”s runner-up Da Nang won 1-0 on their home turf in Chi Lang Stadium over former champion Hoang Anh Gia Lai in the first round of V-League play on January 15.
In My Tho, hosts Pomina Steel Tien Giang, promoted to the nation”s highest football tournament, earned one point after a goalless game against Pjico S6 ng Lam Nghe An. Meanwhile, visitors Binh Duong defeated Mikado Nam Dinh, 1-0.
In Hanoi, Hoa Phat tied LG.HN.ACB 2-2 in a capital derby in Hang Day Stadium. At the same time in Hai Phong, hosts Mitsustar Haier Hai Phong triumphed the defending champion Gach Dong Tam Long An (GDT-LA) 3-1.
Last year”s 12th-placed Pisico Binh Dinh won 1-0 against a promoted Khatoco Khanh H6 a in Quy Nhon Stadium.
Da Nang was considered weaker than the former champ Hoang Anh Gia Lai (HAGL), partly due to the absence of three key players involved in the SEA Games football scandal. In addition, HAGL”s manager Doan Nguyen Duc is facing the possibility of being prosecuted for bribery.
Despite these distractions, both sides played boldly. A newcomer at HALL, striker Kesley from Binh Duong, performed well when combined with Kiatisuk Senamueng in the forward line. The two threatened Da Nang continuously, keeping goalkeeper Vo Van Hanh on his toes at all times. All they needed was a little luck.
Da Nang proved themselves a champion favourite with their stable defence line and an effective forward. At the 75th minute, former national striker Le Huynh Duc broke through HAGL”s lineup from the midfield and executed a beautiful pass to Giang Thanh Thong near the box. From there, Thong clinched the winning goal for the hosts.
Halfback Abbey Ebenezer scored the first goal of V-League play for Binh Duong at the 66th minute of the match.
Receiving the ball from teammate Amaobi Uzowuru, Abbey volleyed the ball into the Mikado Nam Dinh net, outplaying goalkeeper Pham Ngoc TO.
Amaobi was a key element in Binh Daring”s attacks. He opened up shots for himself and his forwards, but regrettably was unable to sink the ball despite many close calls before the 35th minute. The top scorer in last year”s V-League failed to get anything past goalie TO when they met up in the penalty box.
However, he sank the only goal of the match to help Binh Duong bring three points home after the first round.
Facing a weaker team up from the First Division, Binh Dinh met no resistance in their 1-0 win with their new forward Sarayoot from Thailand.
With three points, Hai Phong, Binh Dinh, Binh Duong and Da Nang now are in the top group in rankings after the first round.
Hoa Phat bagged their first goal at the 37th minute by mid fielder Williams de Oliveira Santos, only to have the game drawn 12 minutes later. LG.HN.ACB”s Livingstone Mbabazi netted a great header to tie the game.
Nearing the end, Santos earned his second goal, again to have the game tied with a goal by Truong Huynh Diep during the second added minute.
Playing again two weeks after the National Super Cup, Hai Phong successfully repeated their victory to champion GDT-LA.
Hai Phong scored first at the 27th, 55th and 70th minutes while Long An had only one goal at the 44th by Brazilian striker Antonio Rodriguez.