The V-League’s top team, Hai Phong, suffered their season’s first loss Sunday when they were sunk by a double by Hanoi T&T striker Hoang Vu Samson.
Hanoi T&T celebrate their win over Hai Phong on May 8. Photo: Minh Tu
In the 33rd minute the naturalized Nigerian went past two Hai Phong defenders to latch on to a pass from Argentinian striker Gonzalo Marronkle and slot it past goalkeeper Van Lam.
Jamaican striker Anthony Stevens leveled the scores from a free kick in the 75th minute to cheer up the 2,000 visiting fans who had painted the Hang Day Stadium in red.
Samson headed home the winning goal in extra time from a throw-in by Sam Ngoc Duc.
But Hai Phong retained their lead with 22 points after nine rounds, followed by Thanh Hoa with 16 points.
On Sunday host Thanh Hoa held neighbors Song Lam Nghe An to a 2-2 draw, which included a controversial penalty in extra time.
Nghe An scored two goals in the 39th and 47th minutes by Ouattra Balba Salia and Nguyen Van Vinh before Ngo Hoang Thinh reduced the lead in the 62nd minute.
In injury time Thanh Hoa’s Senegalese striker Pape Omar Fayer was brought down by Dinh Hoang outside the box, but referee Ha Anh Chien awarded Thanh Hoa a penalty and Omar successfully leveled the scores.
Chien also ordered Nghe An coach Ngo Quang Truong to leave the field for protesting the decision.
Nguyen Minh Ngoc, head of the V-League organizing committee, said he would seek reports from the match referees and supervisors as well as review the video.
Starting from the ninth round, a cooling break rule is in place allowing referees to grant three-minute breaks in the 30th and 75th minutes due to very hot weather.
Vietnam is suffering a hot, dry spell, with temperatures soaring to 42 degrees Celsius (108 degrees Fahrenheit) in the central region this week.
Hai Phong's Jamaican striker Diego Fagan was closely marked by Hanoi T&T defenders through the match last Sunday. Photo: Minh Tu