Good start for coach Hai nets Ninh Binh a V-League victory

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In his very first game as coach, Le Thuy Hai steered Ninh Binh to a 2-0 away win at Hang Day Stadium over Hoa Phat Hanoi in a sixth round V-League match.

Ninh Binh signed an agreement with the 2007 and 2008 champion earlier in the week for a monthly salary of VND100 million, a record for a local coach, in a bid the shore up the club's poor performances.

Hai is expected to help the northern club finish in the top five this season, and he has made the best possible start.

The first half ended without a goal as Hanoi played tough and conceded no inch.

However, striker Viet Thang took full advantage of a mistake by a home team defender to break the deadlock 10 minutes after the interval.

A couple of minutes later, the hosts saw their defender Ngoc Tu sent off with the second yellow card after referee Nguyen Trong Thu ruled that he had hit Gustavo Dourado.

Coach Nguyen Thanh Vinh of the hosts was very angry with the referee. He said Tu had not tackled Gustavo. The referee's decision was also jeered by home fans who also threw verbal insults at him.

Midway through the second half, Gustavo was tackled in the penalty area and the Brazilian striker doubled the score for the visitors.

The hosts were awarded two more penalty kicks but neither Timothy Anjembe nor Thanh Trung could covert them.

The home defeat pushed Hoa Phat Hanoi five places down to ninth with eight points.

Meanwhile, Dong Thap climbed three places to fourth with 10 points after a 2-1 home victory at Cao Lanh Stadium over top-placed Hanoi T&T.

It was an exciting match with the Mekong Delta hosts, supported by 18,000 spectators, launching relentless attacks and the visitors from the capital counterattacking equally well.

Hanoi T&T players hit the bar twice but the first half ended scoreless.

The home team attacked more after the break and Olushola Aganun and Samson Kayode scored two goals in two minutes less than 15 minutes into the second half.

The capital side had nothing to lose and they began to attack fiercely and they pulled one back with a goal by Elokan Endene, but could not level scores. Cong Vinh's header that hit the bar went straight to the bar.

Near the end of the match, Cong Vinh exhibited a not very good behavior by kneeling down and prostrating himself in front of referee Vu Bao Linh after the assistant referee ruled that the ball had rolled past the line. Vinh's act left a bad impression on spectators at the ground as well as TV viewers.

Hanoi T&T remains on top of the table with 12 points and s reigning champions Da Nang in second place, because of goal difference.

Khanh Hoa took a 1-0 away win over bottom side Nam Dinh at Thien Truong Stadium, enabling it to jump three places to sixth with 10 points while Nam Dinh remained at the bottom with only one point.

With several best players unable to play due to injuries, 2005-06 V-League champs Dong Tam Long An (DTLA) suffered their first home loss to Thanh Hoa at the Long An Stadium.

The 0-1 defeat pushed the Mekong Delta side three places down to eighth with eight points while the northern team climbed two positions to 10th with seven points.

Supported by 15,000 home fans, Hoang Anh Gia Lai (HAGL) grabbed a 2-0 home win over Hai Phong Cement with goals scored by captain Van Truong and Thai Duong.

The precious second home win lifted the 2003-04 champions one place to 12th with six points while the northern team fell four positions to seventh with eight points.

In two early matches of the sixth round, defending champs Da Nang beat Navibank Saigon 1-0 at home at Chi Lang Stadium.

The one goal by Argentine striker Gaston Merlo was not enough to lift the champions to the top spot, while the loss pushed the Ho Chi Minh City side two places down to 13th, second to last, with five points.

In other action, Binh Duong defeated Song Lam Nghe An at Vinh Stadium with the only goal being scored by Brazilian-Vietnamese Huynh Kesley.

The away victory lifted the 2007-08 league champs three spots to fifth with 10 points while the home defeat pushed Nghe An one position down to 11th.

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