Nam Dinh has been relegated to the second-tier First Division after a 0-1 away loss to Hoa Phat Hanoi at the Hang Day Stadium in round 22 of the V-League championship on Sunday.
Nam Dinh's goalkeeper Ngoc Tu seemed to tackle a Hoa Phat Hanoi player as he tried to catch the ball and referee Do Quoc Hoai awarded hosts Hoa Phat Hanoi a penalty kick.
Nigerian striker Timothy Anjembe made no mistake from the penalty spot and increased his tall this this season to 14 goals, pushing Hoa Phat Hanoi two places up to fifth with 34 points.
Not aware that Ngoc Tu had tackled an opponent, Nam Dinh fans booed and shouted for a while on the stands.
The goal might not have been acceptable for Nam Dinh but they have only themselves to blame because they have played badly since the beginning of the season.
With only four more games to go, Nam Dinh with 12 points are 18 points adrift of the 11th position, considered a safe place.
According to the rules, the third team from the bottom will play off against the third best team in the second-tier First Division for a place in the V-League's next season. The bottom two teams in the V-League are relegated, while the top two teams in the First Division move up to the V-League for the next season.
In other matches, Navibank Saigon (formerly the Fourth Military Zone) managed to draw 0-0 away with 2007-08 champs Binh Duong at Go Dau Stadium but the Ho Chi Minh City representatives will find it very difficult to avoid relegation because they now have 19 points and are 9 points adrift of third-to-last team Thanh Hoa.
In the upper part of the table, Hanoi T&T were held 0-0 by Nghe An at Vinh Stadium but remain atop with 41 points, five points clear of Binh Duong.
Hai Phong Cement jumped two places to third with 36 points after a 2-0 win over Khanh Hoa, who fell two spots to sixth with 33 points.
Defending champs Da Nang with 32 points slid one position to seventh after a 1-4 defeat to the 2005-06 champions Dong Tam Long An, who climbed two spots to ninth with 31 points.
The solitary goal of the match by Brazilian striker Evaldo Rodrigues Goncaves earned 2003-04 champions Hoang Anh Gia Lai a home win at Pleiku Stadium and lifted it two places to eighth with 32 points while the losers Dong Thap dropped two places to fourth with 35 points.
Thanh Hoa remained third to last after a one-all home draw with Ninh Binh. Bao Khanh scored the opener for the hosts but Viet Thang's header leveled scores for the visitors who slid two places to 10th with 31 points.