Former champs DTLA face relegation after dismal show

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Former champs Dong Tam Long An (DTLA) suffered the ignominy of falling to the bottom of V-League rankings after a 3-1 away loss to Hanoi ACB at the Hang Day Stadium in a 10th round match Sunday.

Champions in 2005 and 2006, DTLA now have just six points so far while Hanoi ACB with seven points climbed off the bottom to stand above the former champs.

Barring a rapid turnaround, the Mekong Delta representatives will be relegated to the second-tier First Division when the league ends.

After several of the team's big players left, those left haven't been able to fill the gaps. The performance of foreign players in the team has also declined. It has not helped matters that club managers have changed coaches very often, providing no consistency for the players to bank on.

Meanwhile, 2009 champions Da Nang beat visitors Hoa Phat Hanoi 2-0 at Chi Lang Stadium to climb one spot to second with 20 points. The losers fell two places to 12 with 11 points.

In other action, the clashes between Hai Phong and Binh Duong at Lach Tray Stadium; Hoang Anh Gia Lai (HAGL) and Thanh Hoa at Pleiku Stadium; and Dong Thap and Khanh Hoa at Cao Lanh Stadium all ended in 2-2 draws.

Dong Thap and Khanh Hoa slid one position to third and fourth with 17 and 16 points respectively while 2007-08 champs Binh Duong and Hai Phong both jumped two places, the former moving the seventh place with 13 and the latter to ninth with 12 points.

The 2003-04 champions HAGL slid one position to sixth with 14 points while Thanh Hoa with 12 points jumped two places to 10th.

In earlier matches on Saturday, hosts Nghe An beat Ninh Binh 1-0 at Vinh Stadium while reigning champs Hanoi T&T hammered Navibank Saigon 4-0 at Hang Day Stadium.

Nghe An, who won the title in 2001, remain on top of the league with 23 points while Ninh Binh remain in 12th with 12 points. Defending champions Hanoi T&T jumped two places to fourth with 17 points while Navibank Saigon fell four places to 11th  with 12 points.

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