DTLA moves into relegation zone after home loss

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Dong Tam Long An (DTLA) were thrashed lost 0-3 at the Long An Stadium by Da Nang in the ninth round of Vietnam's top-tier V-League football tournament on Sunday.

It might be too early to say the 2005-06 champs will be relegated to the second-tier First Division, but if the dismal form continues, it looks as a distinct possibility.

The absence of a real matchmaker for DTLA was made glaring by the role played by Da Nang midfielder Minh Phuong.

Phuong, who transferred from DTLA to Da Nang before the league kicked off, made neat passes to the visitors' strikers and Ngoc Thanh scored a brace before Gaston Merlo scored the third.

There was a controversial event in the match when referee Nguyen Duc Vu awarded a goal from a free kick to the home team, but changed his mind and denied it.

While the visitors were leading 1-0, Kassim's 48th -minute free kick hit the shoulder of home team striker Thanh Binh while he was in an offside position before going into Da Nang's net.

The decision let to arguments between the players and coach Simon McMenemy.

DTLA now remain in 13th position out of 14 teams with just six points while Sunday winners Da Nang, title winners in 2009, retain their third place standing with 17 points.

Meanwhile, Song Lam Nghe An climbed one position to top with 19 points after a 1-0 away win over Navibank Saigon at Ho Chi Minh's Thong Nhat Stadium on Thursday. Navibank Saigon slid one spot to seventh with 12 points.

Nghe An's climb was made possible because Dong Thap with 17 points slid from top place to second after a 0-3 away defeat to Thanh Hoa at the Thanh Hoa Stadium on Sunday. Thanh Hoa with 12 points still remained in 12th spot despite their impressive victory.

Khanh Hoa's 2-1 home win at Nha Trang Stadium lifted it up one place to fourth with 16 points while their opponents Hoang Anh Gia Lai, 2003-04 champs, fell one position to fifth with 13 points.

Defending champs Hanoi T&T climbed one place to sixth with 13 points while 2007-08 champs Binh Duong slid one spot to ninth with 12 points after both teams fought to a goalless draw Thursday at Binh Duong's Go Dau Stadium.

Ninh Binh jumped three places to eighth after a 2-0 home victory at home over Hanoi ACB, who remain at the bottom with four points.

Hoa Phat Hanoi and Hai Phong each slid one place to 10th and 11th respectively after their 1-1 tie at Hanoi's Hang Day Stadium on Sunday. Both teams have 11 points now.

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