Dong Thap football club enjoys late season surge

TN News

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The Dong Thap football club has suffered from a decrease in talent over the past couple of years but they are still competitive within the top-flight V-League.

A draw and three wins, including a 2-0 victory over Kien Long Kien Giang on the road Sunday, have lifted Dong Thap from 13th to ninth place with 22 points in the 14-team league.

The turnaround, which has pleasantly surprised fans, has been largely attributed to new head coach Tran Cong Minh and the determination of his players, none of whom are well-known names within the league.

Another key ingredient has been the training the club has been providing for the junior players in the province. The young players have done a tough job well, having replaced several of the club's most popular players.

This season, eight young players who competed in the Thanh Nien-sponsored Under-21 Football Tournament last year have been used and four of them have become regular members of the club's first team.

Dong Thap cannot afford to pay famous players the salaries they command, but newcomers like Tran Minh Loi, Nguyen Hai Anh, Hoang Hai Duong and Dinh Hoang Max have stepped up their games.

Minh Loi and Hai Anh both scored goals in the win over Kien Giang.

Dong Thap still has a chance to finish the season strong and and avoid being relegated to the second-tier of the First Division.

In other news across the league, Hanoi T&T continues to top the standings with 33 points despite two consecutive losses, followed by Da Nang trailing one point behind.

The reigning champs Song Lam Nghe An are in fourth place with 26 points after a 1-1 draw on Saturday at Ho Chi Minh City's Thong Nhat Stadium with third place Saigon Xuan Thanh (31 points).

At the bottom of the standings, Hai Phong is in last place with only 11 points, 8 points behind 13th place Khanh Hoa.

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