Player, fan violence mars Vietnam National Cup football

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Violence on and off the pitch marked the quarterfinal action in the 2012 National Cup football in Vietnam Sunday.

At Ho Chi Minh City's Thong Nhat Stadium, visitors Thanh Hoa looked better than hosts Saigon FC in the first half, and scored within eight minutes of the start.

But Saigon played much better in the second half and scored thrice to book a berth in the semifinals.

In the dying moments of the match, Thanh Hoa players chased Huynh Kesley of Saigon, and had Da Silva and Sunday sent off as a result.

Thanh Hoa's central fullback Bat Hieu was also involved in the fracas but was not sent off. Le Xuan Anh of Thanh Hoa even provoked the host fans into violence.

After the match, the two teams' supporters were involved in pitched battles inside and outside the stadium. Security personnel managed to restore order, but it was several hours before the visitors could be escorted from the stadium by the police.

Earlier in the day a seesaw match between hosts Song Lam Nghe An (SLNA) and Ninh Binh at Vinh Stadium ended in an exciting 3-3 draw, before SLNA won 5-4 from penalties.

But again the pitch resembled a martial arts arena. Ngo Hoang Thinh of SLNA and Sanogo Moussa of Ninh Bình were sent off early in the first half for fighting each other. Nguyen Duc Huy of Ninh Binh was sent off in the final minutes of the match for attacking a player of the hosts.

In other action, Da Nang, the 2009 V-League (now renamed the Super League)champions crushed Kien Giang 3-0 at home.

First Division club Binh Dinh lost 1-3 at home to 2010 V-League champions Hanoi T&T.

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