Coach Mai Duc Chung has lifted Navibank Saigon off the bottom of the V-League after a 1-0 home win at HCMC Thong Nhat Stadium over Hanoi T&T who were top of the league in the 12th round on Sunday.
Chung, who helped the Vietnamese women footballers win two consecutive Southeast Asian Games championships in 2003 and 2005, took over the reins of the relegation-threatened club on Tuesday and is expected to help the club avoid being relegated to the second-tier First Division.
As the underdog in the match, Chung had his players play counterattack and wait for their chances. They had only one opportunity midway through the first half and they converted it to take an important win.
After the goal, the visitors launched relentless attacks and they dominated the field most of the time. The ball was mostly in the hosts' half. The visitors had several chances but failed to score a goal.
Hanoi T&T slid one place to second with 22 points while Navibank Saigon jumped off the bottom with nine points.
Nam Dinh, who lost 1-2 to visitors Hai Phong Cement, is now in last place. Despite the win, Hai Phong remain in sixth place with 20 points.
The match at Thien Truong Stadium between hosts Nam Dinh and visitors Hai Phong and the game at Pleiku Stadium between Hoang Anh Gia Lai (HAGL) and Nghe An were violent with lenient referees.
Visitors Nghe An made it impossible for hosts HAGL to score and the match ended in a scoreless draw. Nghe An fell two spots to seventh with 18 points while HAGL remained in tenth position with 14 points.
The 5-1 home win lifted Ninh Binh three places to fourth with 20 points while the losers Khatoco Khanh Hoa slid one spot to fifth with 20 points.
In early matches on Saturday, Dong Thap took a 2-1 home win at Cao Lanh Stadium over the 2007-08 league champions Binh Duong while reigning champions Danang defeated Thanh Hoa 3-1 at Chi Lang Stadium.
Dong Thap moved one spot up to eighth with 17 points while Binh Duong with 22 points fell one place to third.
Da Nang jumped two places to the top spot with 24 points and Thanh Hoa slid from eighth to ninth position with 15 points.