Violent confrontations broke out between players on Sunday as hosts Nam Dinh posted a 3-1 win at the Thien Truong Stadium over Dong Tam Long An (DTLA) in a V-League eighth round match.
About a minute after Danh Ngoc's 37th-minute second goal for the hosts, Danny David of DTLA tackled Gaspard Yelleduor. Even before referee Ngo Quoc Hung could send Danny off with a second yellow card, a hard kick from the player had Van Thuan rolling on the ground in pain.
DTLA players reacted angrily against the referee's decision and Nam Dinh players surrounded Danny.
As Danny was leaving the field, Nam Dinh's Philip Okoro ran after him, and a Nam Dinh player stopped him.
At the same time, Hoang Lam of DTLA and Van Duyet of Nam Dinh abused each other and grabbed each other's throats.
Security guards and the coaching staff of two sides had to run into the field to prise them apart.
The match was stopped six minutes, but it was not clear why there was blood streaming down referee Hung's face. Referee supervisor Doan Phu Tan had to clean it for him.
When order was restored, referee Hung called Danny, who was then in the stands, to return and gave him a red card.
The rough match saw a total of six yellow cards handed out, including one for Okoro, who intended to pick a fight with Danny. Danh Ngoc, who scored a double for the hosts, was also sent off the field with his second yellow card in the 57th minute.
Luong Phuc scored the third goal for the league's bottom side Nam Dinh right before the break and Tai Em scored a consolation goal for the visitors less than 10 minutes after the interval.
It was the second defeat for the league's 2005-06 champions DTLA under the new coach from Portugal Ricardo Formosinho.
The home win couldn't lift Nam Dinh with four points off the bottom while DTLA remained in 12th place with eight points.
At the Ninh Binh Stadium, meanwhile, hosts Ninh Binh suffered a 0-1 defeat to defending champions Da Nang.
The hosts' poor performance was so disappointing to the home fans that they began to support the visitors and shouted abuse at the home team.
Coach Le Thuy Hai, who led Binh Duong to the league title in 2007 and 2008, took charge of Ninh Binh on March 19 and was expected to help the team finish among the top five but this was their third loss since his arrival.
Ninh Binh fell three places to ninth with 11 points while Da Nang climbed two places to second with 15 points, three points adrift of the top-placed Hanoi T&T, but Da Nang still have a match in hand because their second round match against Dong Thap was delayed till May 19.
Hanoi T&T secured their top spot with a 2-1 victory at Hang Day Stadium over Binh Duong, who slid two places to fourth with 13 points.
A scoreless tie at Nha Trang Stadium kept hosts Khanh Hoa and visitors Thanh Hoa in third and eighth places with 14 and 11 points respectively.
Hosts Dong Thap and Nghe An fought to a two-all tie at Cao Lanh Stadium in the Mekong Delta. Dong Thap moved up two places to fifth with 11 points while Nghe An dropped one spot to 10th.
The 2-0 home win at Lach Tray Stadium lifted Hai Phong Cement five places to sixth with 11 points while the losers Hoa Phat Hanoi with the same points slid two spots to seventh.
Navibank Saigon, Ho Chi Minh City's only representative in the league, remained second to last with six points after a 1-1 tie with 2004-05 champs Hoang Anh Gia Lai, who fell one place to 11th with 10 points.