Reigning champions Da Nang secured top spot after a 3-2 home win at Chi Lang Stadium over bottom-placed Nam Dinh in V-League's 13th round on Sunday.
There were difficult moments during the match due to the absence of some of their best players, but Da Nang reached the half-way spot to defending their title with their ranking intact.
Ha Minh Tuan's shot put the hosts in the lead midway through the first half but Luong Phuc and Philip Okoro helped the visitors take the lead before the break.
Not a few of the home fans left the stadium because they thought some of Da Nang players were not playing enthusiastically enough, making it possible for the visitors to score two goals.
However, the hosts improved defense and dominated the second half. Doan Hung Son and Nguyen Rogerio asserted their dominance with 60th and 64th minute goals to help Da Nang end the first half of the 2010 season on top of the table with 27 points.
The fight for the title this year has proven more open with second and third-placed Hanoi T&T and the 2007-08 champs Binh Duong just two points adrift of Da Nang.
Their 0-1 defeat to Hanoi T&T pushed 2003-04 champions HAGL with 14 points one place down to 11th out of the 14 teams in the league while Hai Phong Cement fell two positions to seventh with 20 points.
Truong Van Hai of Binh Duong and Lazaro De Souza of Hai Phong were sent off with red cards after a fight between the two players some 10 minutes after half time.
Dong Thap, who at the beginning of the season were considered one of the teams that could be relegated to the second-tier First Division, are now flying high in the upper part of the table.
The Mekong Delta side jumped four places to fourth with 21 points after a scoreless away draw with Thanh Hoa on Sunday and a 2-0 home win over toppers Da Nang on Wednesday May 19.
The May 19 match against Da Nang was a game that made up for the delayed second round match.
Thanh Hoa, who were struggling hard at the bottom early in the season, remained in the ninth spot with 16 points.
Nghe An and Ninh Binh each slid one spot to fifth and eight after a scoreless draw at Nghe An's Vinh Stadium.
Nghe An, famed once as the country's best youth football training center and winner of the league title in 2001 the first year that the country's top-tier A1 became the V-League, did their best but failed to beat the well-heeled visitors from Ninh Binh.
The league's 2005-06 champions Dong Tam Long An (DTLA) failed to take home soil advantage over relegation-threatened team Navibank Saigon (NSG) at Long An Stadium.
The visitors NSG took the lead after Ha Hoang Dam scored the opener early in the second half; and Danny Davis could only equalize the score for the hosts thanks to mistakes by the visitors' defenders and goalkeeper Ngoc Tan.
NSG is now at the second-to-last position with 10 points while DTLA slid one place to 12th with 12 points.
Hoa Phat Hanoi, who were in the 12th place last week jumped two places to 10th with 14 points after a 3-1 away win over Khatoco Khanh Hoa, who remained in sixth with 20 points.
Khanh Hoa is in some trouble with its players. On the morning before the game against Hoa Phat Hanoi, chairman Le Tien Anh said his club is facing a "psychological" problem.
Some of the best players whose contracts are going to expire soon have asked the club leaders to extend their contracts at high prices or threatened to leave, he said.