Vietnam football: leaders Saigon FC still on top despite 1st loss

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Saigon FC remained on top of Vietnam's top-flight V-League despite their season's first defeat against Ninh Binh in the 10th round Sunday.

After two consecutive losses, Ninh Binh upped their game on home soil and were rewarded with a goal in each half from Van Thanh and Tien Thanh.

With his Cameroonian striker Christian Nsi out through suspension, Saigon FC coach Lu Dinh Tuan played midfielder Geoffrey Kizito but the Ugandan did not play very well with the result that strikers Huynh Alves Kesley and Antonio Carlos got few good balls.

Saigon now have 19 points while their home win lifted Ninh Binh (15)  by three places to sixth.

Mekong Delta team Dong Thap fought to achieve a goalless draw at home at the Cao Lanh Stadium with 2003-04 champs Hoang Anh Gia Lai. Dong Thap slid one place to 11th while Hoang Anh Gia Lai remained in fifth.

Earlier, on Saturday, 2010 champs Hanoi T&T drew 1-1 away with Khanh Hoa at Nha Trang Stadium to remain in second but with the same 19 points as the leaders. Khanh Hoa slid to eighth place.

Thanh Hoa and hosts Kien Giang finished scoreless and remained in 12th and 13th places in the 14-team league.

Hai Phong are stuck at the bottom with six points after a 0-1 home defeat to 2007-08 champions Binh Duong, who climbed one place to third with 17 points.

On Friday Navibank Saigon jumped two places to ninth after a 3-1 home win at Thong Nhat Stadium in Ho Chi Minh City over the 2009 champs Da Nang, who slid to fourth with 16 points.

Hanoi FC and reigning champs Song Lam Nghe An both slid one place to 10th and seventh after a scoreless draw at Hanoi's Hang Day Stadium.

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