Hanoi T&T closer to V-League title after home win

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Hanoi T&T made a giant stride towards winning the championship of the top-tier V-League after a 1-0 home win over Dong Thap at Hang Day Stadium in the 19th round on Sunday.

At first, hosts Hanoi T&T, were put under a lot of pressure especially when visitors, Dong Thap from the Mekong Delta, played better.

Dong Thap created several chances but couldn't convert any into goals. The match went on and on before Argentine striker, Gonzalo Marronkle, scored the only goal of the match for Hanoi T&T after turning in a pass from the right flank just a couple of minutes before full time.

Dong Thap coach Pham Cong Loc said with regret, "We prepared well for this game, it was a shame we couldn't take our chances."

Loc didn't rate Hanoi T&T highly and said the league 2007-08 champions Binh Duong are a stronger contender for the title this year.

Hanoi T&T remain on top with 37 points while Dong Thap slid one spot to third with 32 points and Binh Duong, with a 2-1 home win over Nghe An, moved up one place to second, two points adrift of the leaders.

Nghe An, who first won the league in 2001, remained in 11th position with 23 points.

At the bottom of the table, Navibank Saigon beat reigning champs Da Nang 3-1 at Thong Nhat Stadium in an early match on Wednesday July 15.

Da Nang remain in fourth, six points adrift of top-placed Hanoi T&T while the Ho Chi Minh City side have only two points more than the bottom side Nam Dinh and are nine points from the third to last Thanh Hoa.

The two last out of the total 14 teams in the V-League will be relegated to the second-tier First Division and the third to last will compete in a play-off against the third best from the First Division to fight for a place in the V-League next season.

There are only seven rounds to go in the 2010 season and Navibank Saigon, formerly the Fourth Military Zone, look unlikely to rise out of the relegation zone.

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