Close but no cigar for Binh Duong in V-League

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Binh Duong failed to move back into first place in Vietnam's top-tier V-League after a 2-4 away defeat to Hoa Phat Hanoi at Hang Day Stadium on Sunday.

After losing the top place to Hanoi T&T, the 2007-08 champs Binh Duong had the chance to regain the ground after Hanoi T&T's 0-2 away loss to reigning champs Da Nang at Chi Lang Stadium on Saturday.

But Hoa Phat Hanoi players were determined not to let that happen.

Shooting from the hip right out of the starting gate, Hoa Phat made it four goals to nil with a double from Thanh Trung and two more from Nigerian striker Timothy Anjembe and Ghanaian striker William Anane Agyei.

Binh Duong, who made their way to the semifinals of Asia's second-tier AFC Cup last year, didn't give up and put away two goals by Brazilian Vietnamese Huynh Kesley Alves and Chi Cong in the final minutes.

Hanoi T&T are still atop the league with 34 points while Binh Duong slid into third with two points less.

Dong Thap jumped two places to second with 32 points after a 2-1 home win at Cao Lanh Stadium over bottom side Navibank Saigon. The Ho Chi Minh City squad now have only 11 points and are very likely to be relegated to second-tier First Division next season.

Defending champs Da Nang with 31 points and Hoa Phat Hanoi with 27 points each climbed up one place to fourth and sixth.

Wealthy club Hai Phong Cement fell two spots to fifth after a 1-2 away defeat to Dong Tam Long An (DTLA) at Long An Stadium.

The 2005-06 champions DTLA jumped two places to 10th with 24 points, far from the relegation zone.

Of the league's 14 teams, two will be relegated to the second tier First Division next season.

The 2003-04 champs Hoang Anh Gia Lai (HAGL) also earned an important home win after coming back from behind to beat Thanh Hoa 3-1 at Pleiku Stadium.

HAGL, with 25 points, jumped two places up to ninth while the losers Thanh Hoa fell two places to 12th with 22 points.

Song Lam Nghe An suffered a 2-4 home defeat to Khanh Hoa at Vinh Stadium.

Nghe An dropped two places to 11th with 23 points while Khanh Hoa climbed one position to seventh with 27 points.

Second to last Nam Dinh took the lead after Nigerian striker Philip Onyeky Okoro scored the opener for the home team but the wealthy visitors Ninh Binh managed to earn a draw with Van Thanh's  89th-minute goal.

Nam Dinh remained second to last with 12 points and are likely to be relegated alongside Navibank Saigon. Ninh Binh fell two places to eighth with 25 points.

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