Hanoi T&T maintain lead; Haiphong lose again
Dong Nai take First Division pole
By Vu Duc - The Saigon Times Daily
HCMC – Hanoi T&T gunned down Thanh Hoa 3-2 to stay top of the pile in the Super League, while Haiphong suffered a second consecutive loss under coach Mai Duc Chung and are rooted at the foot on two points.
Hanoi T&T were in top form during the first three rounds and thus became the first club to receive the ‘Best Team of the Month’ award for January in Super League 2012.
Last year’s runners-up defeated both Hanoi Club and Becamex Binh Doung 1-0 and drew 2-2 with defending champions Song Lam Nghe An to net the prize.
Le Huynh Duc from SHB Danang and striker Nguyen Van Quyet from Hanoi T&T won the ‘Best Coach’ and ‘Best Player’ awards.
With enthusiastic support from the home fans, Hanoi T&T grabbed the lead in the 23rd minute when Gonzalo scored his first goal of the season but Emmanuel Sunday equalized five minutes later.
Nguyen Ngoc Duy made it 3-1 thanks to a 40th minute penalty kick and 55th minute effort. Michael Andrew netted an injury time spot-kick for the visitors but it was a mere consolation.
Hanoi T&T now sit top on 13 points, while Thanh Hoa fell to 10th on five points.
Haiphong continued their disappointing run as they suffered a third loss, going down 2-0 to XM Vissai Ninh Binh on Saturday. The goals came from Mai Tien Thanh and Gustavo in the 56th and 75th minutes.
Haiphong sit bottom one point behind 13th-placed Kienlongbank KG, who lost 1-0 to Khatoco Khanh Hoa on Sunday.
Meanwhile, the game between Song Lam and Becamex Binh Duong ended goalless. Song Lam drop to sixth on seven points, and are still level with Binh Duong, who sit fifth.
Saigon FC defeated SHB Danang 2-1 at Thong Nhat Stadium on Sunday, to stay second behind Hanoi T&T on goal difference. Danang are fourth on eight points, two points behind Ninh Binh.
Elsewhere, Hoang Anh Gia Lai beat Hanoi Club and Dong Thap thrashed Navibank Saigon 3-1 on Sunday.
* Six First Division games took place on Saturday, featuring a record 21 goals – more than three a game.
Round 5 results
Dong Thap 3 Saigon Navibank 1
Khanh Hoa 1 Kienlongbank 0
Saigon FC 2 SHB Danang 1
Hanoi T&T 3 Thanh Hoa 2
Hoang Anh 2 Hanoi Club 1
Ninh Binh 2 Haiphong 0
Binh Duong 0 Song Lam 0
An Giang 1 Can Tho 2
Quang Ninh 0 Quang Nam 1
Dong Nai 4 Lam Dong 0
Binh Dinh 3 Junior Hanoi 1
Tay Ninh 2 Junior Danang 3
HCMC 1 Dong Tam Tiles 3
Hanoi Club 1 TDC Binh Duong 0
Dong Nai secured top after trouncing Lam Dong 4-0 at home on 10 points, while Lam Dong dropped to sixth position on seven points.
Quang Nam won at Quang Ninh Coal 1-0 and Dong Tam Long An Tiles also earned a 3-1 victory over HCMC at Thong Nhat Stadium.
Dong Nai, Quang Nam and Dong Tam Tiles now have 10 points each with the former on top on goal difference.
In other games on Saturday, Can Tho won at Hung Vuong An Giang 2-1 and Binh Dinh earned a 3-1 win over Junior Hanoi, climbing to fifth with eight points.
Junior SHB Danang won 3-2 at Tay Ninh, while Hanoi Club beat TDC Binh Duong 1-0 at Hang Day Stadium in the later game on Sunday, climbing to fourth on 10 points.