Binh Duong’s 4-1 win over Hoang Anh Gia Lai has helped the former maintain its top position as Vietnam’s top flight V.League’s first leg concluded on Sunday.
With 14 teams returning after almost a two-month break with many players summoned for regional championships, Hoang Anh Gia Lai’s fans were thirsting for a victory to escape from the bottom three.
However, host Binh Duong notched an early lead in the 3rd minute with a long-range volley by Minh Duc, following a chaos in front of Hoang Anh Gia Lai goalkeeper Minh Nhut that was triggered by a corner kick.
In the 19th minute, Au Van Hoan scored the second goal for Binh Duong after a pass by Nigerian striker Victor Moses hit a Hoang Anh Gia Lai’s defender and bounced into his range.
Striker Cong Vinh scored the third goal for Binh Duong in the 50th minute after goalkeeper Minh Nhut had the ball bounce out from a shot by Trong Hoang.
Like in the first half, Hoang Anh Gia Lai continued to focus on defense with long range passes, which eventually earn the team a goal by Belgium midfielder Moussa Dembele, shortening the distance to 1-3.
In the 76th minute, Trong Hoang scored the fourth goal for Binh Duong after breaking an offside trap by Hoang Anh Gia Lai defenders.
With this win, Binh Duong maintains its leading position with 28 points after 13 rounds, followed by Thanh Hoa with 25 points and Hai Phong with 22 points.
Meanwhile, with only 9 points, Hoang Anh Gia Lai was just above the bottom two – Dong Nai and Can Tho – which face relegation threats.
At a press briefing after the match, Hoang Anh Gia Lai Coach Guillaume Graechen said that strong teams like Binh Duong are at higher levels.
"Our target in the second leg is compete against direct rivals like Dong Nai and Can Tho. If we can do so, we will maintain at V.League," he said.
The 14th round - the first round of the second leg - will kick off on July 4 and 5.