Young striker Cong Phuong’s double secured host Hoang Anh Gia Lai a 2-2 draw with Dong Thap at their V.League’s eight round match at Pleiku Stadium Sunday.
Dong Thap took an early lead in the 11th minute with an easy goal by Duy Khanh following a mistake by Hoang Anh Gia Lai’s defender in clearing the ball out of the box.
Felix Ayala scored the second goal for Dong Thap in the 19th minute, after Samson’s shot hit the pole.
Hoang Anh Gia Lai, with nine players recently selected for the national U-23 team, returned strongly with sharp attacks that ended in a goal by newly-emerging striker Cong Phuong in the 32nd minute.
In the 73rd minute, Hoang Anh Gia Lai’s Hoang Thien was brought down by Kim Long and referee Duc Vu granted the home team a penalty, which was successfully taken by Cong Phuong.
In the other two matches Sunday, Sanna Khanh Hoa crushed Can Tho 4-0 while Thanh Hoa beat Dong Nai 3-2.
Than Quang Ninh still tops the scoreboard after eight rounds with 16 points, followed by Thanh Hoa also with 16 points.
Becamex Binh Duong ranked third, followed by Hai Phong, both with 15 points.
Becamex Binh Duong will have a late eight round match against Hanoi T&T on April 3, after Hanoi T&T hosted Indonesia’s Persib Bandung in an AFC Champions League match on February 10.
Fourteen teams is taking a mid-season break before competing against on April 12.
After eight rounds, Le Van Thang of Can Tho is the top scorer with 7 goals, followed by Cheikh Abass Dieng of Becamex Binh Duong and Tambwe Patiyo of Quang Nam, each with six goals.