Host Becamex Binh Duong defeated Thanh Hoa 5-2 to widen the distance as the two V.League leading clubs raced for the championship title Friday.
With only three more rounds to go and eight points in the lead, Becamex Binh Duong only needs a draw to secure the crown even if Thanh Hoa wins all next three rounds.
Becamex Binh Duong fielded two foreign strikers, Cheikh Abass Dieng and Oloya Moses, who recovered from injury, while Thanh Hoa lost midfielder Sy Cuong due to a suspension penalty.
Both teams organized attacks right at the beginning of the match with Thai referee Mongkolchai Pechsri on the pitch.
Pechsri was one of the two foreign referees appointed for the first time this season, after the league was overshadowed by match-fixing allegations.
The other referee was Malaysian Mohd Nafeez Bin Abdul Wahab in the match between Hoang Anh Gia Lai and Dong Nai on the same day.
Anh Duc helped Becamex Binh Duong took an early lead in the 5th minute with a free kick to the far corner of Thanh Hoa’s goal.
Binh Duong continued to attack and Cong Vinh missed several shots.
In the 17th minute, Trong Hoang scored the second goal for Binh Duong after defeating goalkeeper To Vinh Loi with a shot from a narrow corner.
Binh Duong had the third goal in the 30th minute after Anh Duc had a good pass for Abass, who then defeated a confused To Vinh Loi.
Striker Pape Omar Faye shortened the distance for Thanh Hoa with a close shot in the 41st minute.
Heavy rain at Go Dau Stadium slowed down the match in the second half.
Moses scored the 4th goal for Binh Duong in the 59th minute from a fast counter attack.
The last two goals were shared between both teams in the extra time, one by Thanh Hoa’s striker Le Van Tan and the other by Binh Duong’s Tang Tuan.
In the bottom group, Hoang Anh Gia Lai had a precious 2-1 win over host Dong Nai to advance to 13th place with 20 points, while Dong Nai dropped to the bottom 14th position with 17 points.