Khanh Hoa suspected of giving 'gift' to Navibank Saigon

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Khanh Hoa defenders played suspiciously poor football on Saturday, making it possible for Navibank Saigon to almost take a draw during a V-League match at Nha Trang Stadium.

The seesaw affair ended when striker Quang Hai scored his second goal of the match in stoppage time to earn a 4-3 win for hosts Khanh Hoa.

Khanh Hoa's offense played exceptionally, but the defenders, especially central fullbacks Issifu Ansah and Mustapha Essuman, played suspiciously badly.

Anh Cuong scored the opener for the hosts right before the interval but Suleiman equalized the score for visitors Navibank Saigon 10 minutes after the break.

Ngoc Dieu put the hosts in the lead again, but the defenders' mistake helped Pinto Da Silva scored the second goal for the visitors.

After that Quang Hai struck about 10 minutes from full time to help the hosts take the lead again, but the defenders created another chance for the visitors' striker Martins Trindade to score an equalizer again just three minutes later.

The home fans got infuriated and began shouting: "Khanh Hoa is giving points to Navibank."  Khanh Hoa coach Hoang Anh Tuan ran to the sidelines several times to ask the defenders to play better, but nothing changed.

After the match, Khanh Hoa chairman Le Tien Anh and club manager Duong Quoc Hung said they were angry with the two foreign defenders.

Commentators were quick to begin murmuring about the possibility that a "mysterious" relationship between the defenders and Navibank had caused to poor play.

Navibank Saigon is nailed to the bottom of the league with only six points.

In other action, a 2-1 home win at Hang Day Stadium over Ninh Binh lifted Hanoi T&T one place back on top with 22 points, after losing the spot to defending league champs Da Nang last week.

Da Nang suffered a 0-2 away defeat to runners-up Binh Duong at Go Dau Stadium in an earlier match on Friday.

Binh Duong moved up one place to second with the same amount of points as top-placed Hanoi T&T, but the capital squad stayed ahead as it had beat the southern team previously. Da Nang slid two places to third one point adrift of the top teams.

However, the champions still have one game in hand because their second-round match against Dong Thap was postponed to May 19.

The 2003-04 champions Hoang Anh Gia Lai (HAGL) earned a 2-0 away victory over the 2005-06 champs Dong Tam Long An (DTLA) at Long An Stadium. The win lifted HAGL with 13 points two spots to 10th while DTLA fell one place to 11th with 11 points.

A 1-0 home win at Lach Tray Stadium over Dong Thap moved Hai Phong Cement two places up to sixth with 17 points while the losers fell two places to ninth with 14 points.

The 2001 league champions Song Lam Nghe An beat Hoa Phat Hanoi 2-1 at Vinh Stadium. With the home win, Nghe An climbed one spot to fifth with 17 points while the capital side slid one place to 12th with 11 points.

The 1-1 home draw with Nam Dinh lifted Thanh Hoa one place to eighth with 15 points while the visitors remained second to last with eight points.

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