Nguyen Anh Duc netted twice in the first half to help Becamex Binh Duong claim a potentially-crucial 2-0 win over V.League 1 title rivals Thanh Hoa on Thursday.
With both sides entering the clash at the Ninh Binh Stadium sitting firmly inside the top three on 29 points – six behind leaders Ha Noi T&T – the encounter offered the chance for one side to edge ahead and maintain the pressure at the top.
And it was the hosts who took the lead in the 19th minute when Nguyen Anh Duc found a yard inside the box and escaping his marker’s attentions, and proceeded to meet Nguyen Trong Hoang’s corner with a thumping header into the back of the net.
Seven minutes later, the combination worked a treat once more as Trong Hoang skipped past Le Quoc Phong down the right and floated an inch-perfect cross to the back post; Anh Duc again on hand to nod the ball past To Vinh Loi.
With the visitors unable to muster a response in the second half, it was Binh Duong who went on to claim the three points and close in on Ha Noi.