Becamex Binh Duong lost its leading position after being defeated 2-1 by Khanh Hoa while young Hoang Anh Gia Lai players continued their losing streak at the 16th round of V.League on Wednesday.
Khanh Hoa took an early lead in the 9th minute with a technical shot by Nigerian striker Iheruome Uche to defeat Becamex Binh Duong’s goalkeeper Esele Quoc Thien.
Host Becamex Binh Duong had many chances but all efforts were blocked by Khanh Hoa’s strong defenders and goalkeeper Tuan Manh.
Becamex Binh Duong leveled the score in the 43rd minute with a penalty by Senegalese striker Cheikh Abass Dieng after Khanh Hoa’s Brazilian midfielder Tales Ricarte Dos Santos played the ball with his hand.
Khanh Hoa played with 10 players from the 67th minute after midfielder Thanh Tuan got a red card.
However, Khanh Hoa scored the second goal in the 84th minute by Tan Tai who got a good pass from Uche.
Becamex Binh Duong maintained 32 points after 16 rounds and dropped to 2nd place. Thanh Hoa rose to the top after beating Can Tho 2-0 on the same day.
Meanwhile, young players at the Arsenal-backed academy Hoang Anh Gia Lai lost 4-0 to host Quang Nam in a match marked by V.League’s youngest player, 17-year-old Nguyen Lam.
After the match, Hoang Anh Gia Lai coach Guillaume Graechen admitted that he was inexperienced. The team did not have a win after 11 continuous rounds.
“This is my first year at the tough V.League and I am inexperienced. My players are also young and they need time,” he said.
Hoang Anh Gia Lai ranked 13th after 16 rounds, just ahead the bottom Dong Nai who shares 10 points.
The 17th round will kick off on Sunday July 19, and the 18th round will be on Thursday July 23 in a thicker schedule, with teams set to play through the week instead of only on weekends.