Hanoi T&T close on SLNA in tight V-League race

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Reigning V-League champs Hanoi T&T closed in on first place Song Lam Nghe An (SLNA) with a crushing 7-1 defeat of Mekong Delta side Dong Thap at Hanoi's Hang Day Stadium Saturday.

Meanwhile, SNLA was shut out 0-1 by Binh Duong at Vinh Stadium in the 22nd round of Vietnam's top-tier league.

Hanoi T&T are now only four points adrift of the league leaders while they still have one more match in hand to play with four more rounds to go this season.

SNLA's loss to  Binh Duong was a surprise as Binh Duong's best aces were out of the game.

Binh Duong had also previously suffered a 1-4 home loss to SLNA in the first half of the season.

But in this round, the southern squads effective counterattacks took SNLA off guard.

Hosts SLNA, who won the V-League championship in 2001, had a clear chance early on but  striker Nguyen Hoang Helio couldn't put the ball in the net.

In other action, the league's 2009 champions Da Nang were held to a scoreless tie on home soil at Chi Lang Stadium by visitors Thanh Hoa, pushing the central team third place with 36 points, six points out of first place.

Hai Phong suffered a 2-3 home defeat to Ninh Binh and are thus likely to be relegated to the country's second tier league First Division.

Hai Phong are now in 13th  out of 14 teams, just above bottom-feeders Khanh Hoa, who slid to last after a 1-0 loss to Hanoi ACB at Hang Day Stadium in the capital.

In other games, Dong Tam Long An (DTLA) beat Navibank Saigon 1-0 at Ho Chi Minh City's Thong Nhat Stadium Saturday, putting the 2005-06 champs in 12th with 24 points, one more than Hai Phong and Khanh Hoa, while Hanoi ACB are just above DTLA with 25 points.

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