Hoang Anh Gia Lai was held 2-2 by Dong Nai in extra time while Than Quang Ninh ended Dong Tam Long An’s undefeated streak during the 10th round of the top-flight V.League Sunday.
After losing two goals to host Song Lam Nghe An last week as coach Guillaume Graechen piloted the attacking 4-3-3 formation, Hoang Anh Gia Lai was thirst for a victory at home.
With the return of Dong Trieu, Hong Duy, Thanh Tung and Tuan Anh after recovering from injuries, Hoang Anh Gia Lai had dominating ball possession.
However, strikers Cong Phuong and Van Toan were closely blocked by defenders of Dong Nai – a team facing disqualifying threat at the bottom of the table.
It was Dong Nai who took the lead in the 36th minute. Cameroonian striker Nsi Amougou had an easy goal from a close distance after the ball bounced out from Hoang Anh Gia Lai’s goalkeeper Minh Nhut in a failed attempt to block a corner kick.
Hoang Anh Gia Lai leveled the scores in the 67th minute with a sudden left-foot shot by Hong Duy from outside the box.
In the 76th minute, Thanh Hau scored the second goal for Hoang Anh Gia Lai, also from a long distance shot into the far corner.
However, a close victory for Hoang Anh Gia Lai was rejected in extra time as Hai Anh leveled the scores from a good combination that defeated their confused defense.
In another match, host Dong Tam Long An had their first losing match in the season to Than Quang Ninh with a goal by Minh Tuan in the 23rd minute.
With three more rounds to go, the race for the champion has become tougher for the top teams, led by Becamex Binh Duong with 22 points.
Song Lam Nghe An, Than Quang Ninh and Thanh Hoa are closely behind with 20 points each, followed by Hai Phong with 19 points and Dong Tam Long and Sanna Khanh Hoa, each with 17 points.