V.League: XSKT Can Tho relegated, Nam Dinh FC qualify for playoff

Tuesday, 2018-10-09 11:24:38
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Nam Dinh FC players celebrate after escaping automatic relegation.
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NDO – Nam Dinh FC cruised to a much-needed draw at XSKT Can Tho in the last round of the 2018 V.League on October 8, thus qualifying for the relegation playoff against Hanoi B, who finished as the runners-up at the 2018 First Division tournament.

* V.League Preview: Waiting for two “final matches”

Ahead of their Round 26 away match on Monday, Nam Dinh FC stood second from the bottom with 23 points, a three-point lead over bottom-placed Can Tho. Manager Nguyen Van Sy’s side would only need a draw to successfully escape automatic relegation. Meanwhile, a win would have been a must for the Can Tho team to make that goal come true.

Therefore, both teams fielded their strongest lineups onto the field right from the first whistle. Under crazy support of local fans, Can Tho rallied to an early lead thanks to Luiz’s close-range header after just five minutes.

The dazzling opener boosted the home side’s confidence, inspiring them to play more comfortably and create an array of opportunities to score, which, however, were not effectively utilised by manager Vu Quang Bao’s side.

The waste of opportunities forced the hosts to pay sharply as Huu Quy beat Can Tho keeper Vinh Loi in the 28th minute to bring the match back to the starting line.

XSKT Can Tho (in green) will play in the First Division tournament next season.

With time running out, XSKT Can Tho continued to intensify their attacks seeking to restore the lead, but they could not convert any of their chances into a second goal.

Meanwhile, Nam Dinh FC proactively deployed solid defence, forcing the 1-1 score to remain unchanged until the final whistle.

Missing out on the full three points, XSKT Can Tho completed their 2018 V.League campaign at bottom position with 21 points after 26 matches, which also meant that they were officially relegated to the First Division tournament next season.

As the winners, Nam Dinh FC continues to foster their hopes of securing a 2019 V.League place as they face Hanoi B in the relegation playoff match at the end of this year’s season.

FLC Thanh Hoa (in yellow) successfully defend their runner-up position in the 2018 V.League.

FLC Thanh Hoa edged out Sanna Khanh Hoa 1-0 on their home ground on October 8 to successfully defend their second-place finish.

Becamex Binh Duong easily thrashed Hoang Anh Gia Lai 4-1, with forward Nguyen Tien Linh scoring a double to become the top Vietnamese scorer of the 2018 V.League with his 15-goal tally, three more than favourite striker Nguyen Cong Phuong of Hoang Anh Gia Lai.

One of Hanoi FC’s attack spearheads, Oseni Ganiyu Bolaji, took the “top scorer” title of the 2018 V.League, scoring 17 goals after 26 games.

The overall table of the 2018 V.League.