SLNA crowned V-League champs

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Song Lam Nghe An (SLNA) won Vietnam's top-tier football championship, V-League 2011, after drawing 1-1 on home soil Sunday at Vinh Stadium against defending champs Hanoi T&T.

The fight for the title was very fierce because the hosts, three points clear of the visitors only needed a draw to win the championship while the visitors Hanoi T&T could only defend the title with a win.

The visitors started the match with confidence and in high spirits but conceded a goal against the run of play in only five minutes when SLNA's Jamaican striker Andre Diego Fagan found the net after Hanoi T&T goalie Hong Son failed to catch a Trong Hoang cross.

With the advantage of the opener, the hosts played even better while the visitors looked very impatient, and both teams played very fast football.

The visitors struggled, though, to find their way to the hosts' goal while the latter had two scoring chances but failed to convert them.

Mid way through the second half, Hanoi T&T substitute Hong Minh scored the equalizer with a sudden powerful shot that beat SLNA's goalkeeper Quoc Cuong.

The visitors tried harder in the remaining minutes of the game and had at least two more chances that went abegging.

The 1-1 draw was enough for SLNA to win the V-League championship this season, 10 years after they won the  championship oin 2001 - the very first year the national A1 tournament turned professional to become V-League.

In other action, the 2005-06 champs Dong Tam Long An officially became the second team to be relegated to the second-tier First Division after Hanoi ACB's relegation last weekend.

Argentine striker Merlo S. Gaston, who plays for 2009 champs Da Nang, won the best striker title this season with 22 goals. This is the third consecutive year that Gaston has won the title.

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