Khanh Hoa are in real danger of being relegated to the second-flight First Division after a 0-1 away loss to Kien Giang Sunday.
The shutout at Rach Gia Stadium, which was their tenth defeat this season, kept Khanh Hoa in second to last place on the 14-team table with 19 points, just above bottom-feeders Hai Phong, who have only 11 points and are very likely to be relegated from the top-flight V-League.
Khanh Hoa are only four points adrift of Dong Thap and Kien Giang and there are seven rounds to go, so they still have a chance to avoid relegation.
With three foreign players and two Vietnamese players of foreign origin, Khanh Hoa's problem is not lack of talent, it's lack of coordination and solidarity.
The matter of spirit is also a problem and it often wears thin towards the end of the game.
In Sunday's match against Kien Giang, Khanh Hoa's defense and mid-field looked unmotivated as the game wrapped up and they lazily allowed Kien Giang to score an easy goal.
The team's hot-tempered players sometimes make terrible mistakes. In the match against Kien Giang, central fullback Thanh Tuan should have kept calm instead of head-butting Oseni Ganiyu Bolaji of Kien Giang and being sent off with a red card after accusing the Nigerian striker of stepping on his arm after he fell.
In the upper part of the league, defending champs Song Lam Nghe An were held 1-1 at home by the 2007-08 champs Binh Duong. Nghe An are in fourth spot with 27 points while Binh Duong are in 8th with 25 points.
After the 4-2 away win over Thanh Hoa on Saturday, the 2010 champs Hanoi T&T are still leading with 36 points, followed by the 2009 champs Da Nang, who have 35 points after beating strong newcomers Saigon Xuan Thanh, who are in third with 31 points.