V.League Round 12 Review: Saigon FC win relegation six-pointer
ABO/NDO – Saigon FC’s “golden” victory in a six-pointer against Song Lam Nghe An was among the highlights of the 12th round of the 2018 V.League last weekend. The significant win helps manager Phan Van Tai Em’s side to make a stride towards the goal of breaking out of the relegation zone.
|Manager Phan Van Tai Em (centre) and his Saigon players have made a great stride towards the goal of breaking out of the relegation zone.|
After nearly two months of a six-game winless streak, Saigon FC finally smiled as they bagged the full three points against Song Lam Nghe An on their home field, Thong Nhat stadium. The 2-1 victory, their second win so far this season, not only helps the southern team to move up to 12th position in the provisional table, but also reignites the confidence and excitement for Tai Em’s side following a long period under huge pressure. Next up for Saigon will be a clash with bottom-placed Nam Dinh FC in the 13th round of play, which promises to be another opportunity for them to secure a third triumph and break far away from the relegation group.
FLC Thanh Hoa’s bid to resume their title race was dealt a big blow following their straightforward 0-2 defeat at Hai Phong last weekend. The away loss at Lach Tray stadium extended Hai Phong’s winless run to four matches (conceding two games), thus pushing manager Nguyen Duc Thang’s side down to 10th position and lessening their chance of realising their trophy dream. Meanwhile, a convincing home triumph helped Hai Phong to get their foothold in the top three of the table with 19 points, five points behind second-placed Quang Ninh Coal and 13 points behind the leaders Hanoi FC. Manager Truong Viet Hoang’s side are gradually reclaiming stability in form and look dangerous in attack as in the previous seasons.
Becamex Binh Duong and Hoang Anh Gia Lai saw their inspiring runs halted in the 12th round of play. The 0-3 loss to challengers Sanna Khanh Hoa BVN put an end to Binh Duong’s eight-game unbeaten streak since the fourth round, while Gia Lai conceded the first defeats in six league matches after succumbing 0-3 at Quang Ninh Coal, who have proved themselves as the favourites for this year’s overall trophy with an amazing collection of seven wins, three draws and only two defeats.
Hanoi FC still remain invincible this season after edging out reigning champions Quang Nam FC with a narrow score of 1-0 thanks to Quang Hai’s solitary goal in the 75th minute. The victory helped manager Chu Dinh Nghiem’s side to extend their unbeaten 2018 V.League run to 12 games in a row, remaining the frontrunners in the title race eight points clear of second-placed Quang Ninh Coal. Hanoi FC have now gone almost half way to the milestone of making history as the first team to claim the overall V.League trophy without losing a game.