V-League: Round 23 in Brief

* A late goal by Helio allowed the traveling Southern Steel - Saigon Port team to hang onto eighth place in the championship table and kept Dong Thap in the relegation zone.

Southern Steel-Saigon Port's Nguyen Chuong (33, white) holds off Dong Thap's national striker Phan Thanh Binh (yellow)

The visitors took the lead in the 17th minute when Elenildo De Jesus headed Cao Tung A Vy’s searching cross from the right to Ngu Chi Thang, who beat goalkeeper Tan Truong with a clinical volley.

Ho Chi Minh City’s only team in the premier league made it two-nil three minutes later when national midfielder Nguyen Minh Chuyen delivered a perfect pass into the path of onrushing De Jesus, who wrong-footed keeper Tan Truong before firing into an empty net.

National striker Phan Thanh Binh held out the host side’s hope of a comeback in the 39th minute when he hooked a low cross from skipper Viet Cuong with his right foot and found home.

Helio wrapped up the three points for Southern Steel - Sai Gon Port in style with a skillfully executed solo performance, moving past three Dong Thap defenders before beating goalie Tan Truong with an angled shot.

* Visitors Khatoco Khanh Hoa extended the losing streak of bottom huggers Huda Hue to five in a row with a single goal by Jonathan Quartey.

The threat of relegation forced the host side to try an aggressive formation but their quiet duo of Andrew Opara and Oyebola Abiodun Folorunso failed to pierce Khatoco Khanh Hoa’s stubborn resistance.

Ngoc Dieu came closest for the visitors in an otherwise tame first half with a close-range shot in the 21st minute that forced a fingertip save by goalkeeper Munze Ulrich.

But Huda Hue came undone in the 65th minute when referee Vo Minh Tri awarded the visitors a penalty after Minh Luan had challenged Ngoc Thach inside the six-yard box; Quartey gave keeper Ulrich no chance from the spot.

*An equalizer by Tan Thinh earned Ha Noi ACB a valuable point against the traveling Song Lam Nghe An at Hang Day Stadium.

The visitors took the lead in the 23rd minute when Valdiney fired the ball home from inside the penalty area.

But the host side did not wilt and got back into the game five minutes later when a lively Pham Thanh Luong bamboozled the Yellows’ defense from the left to feed an unmarked Tan Thinh, who made no mistake to net from close range.

The results left Song Lam Nghe An looking safe at ninth in the table and Ha Noi ACB dropping closer to the relegation zone.
The V-League Petro Viet Nam Gas 2007 Table

1Becamex Binh Duong23146348
2Dong Tam Long An23107637
3Da Nang2399536
4Hoang Anh Gia Lai23105835
5Nam Dinh2397734
6Pisico Binh Dinh2396833
7Halida Thanh Hoa2388732
8Southern Steel-Saigon Port2389631
9Song Lam Nghe An23610728
10Khatoco Khanh Hoa23841128
11Ha Noi ACB2368928
12Hoa Phat Ha Noi2368926
13Dong Thap233101019
14Huda Hue23461318

By Hoang Uy

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