Buriram’s last-16 hopes dented; Binh Duong eliminated from ACL

Buriram United’s hopes of qualifying for the AFC Champions League Round of 16 were dealt a real blow on Wednesday as they were beaten 2-1 by Seongnam FC in Group F.

The Thai giants found themselves behind at the Tancheon Sports Complex when Kim Do-heon converted from the penalty spot, after his initial shot from inside the area was adjudged to have been blocked by Narubadin Weerawatnodom with his hand.

Seven minutes before the break, Seongnam extended their lead when Nam Joon-jae was left completely unmarked inside the six-yard box to meet Kim Do-heon’s dangerous freekick with a thumping header into the back of the net.

The visitors did reduce the deficit with 13 minutes remaining when Diogo reacted quickest to Korawit Narmwiset’s flick-on header and nodded the ball home from close range.

However, they were just unable to find an equaliser in the remainder of the contest and fell to their second straight defeat, following another 2-1 loss to Gamba Osaka at the start of the month.

The result, coupled with Gamba’s 5-0 thrashing of Guangzhou R&F, means that for the first time in the campaign, Buriram are out of the top two in Group F and face the realistic prospect of missing out on a place in the Round of 16.

Given Gamba’s better head-to-head record, the only way the Thunder Castle can now qualify is if they can better the J.League 1 champions’ result against already-qualified Seongnam on May 6 in their clash with Guangzhou R&F.

Meanwhile, Vietnamese side Becamex Binh Duong’s hopes of advancing from Group E were officially ended after they lost to Shandong Luneng Taishan 3-1 at the Jinan Olympic Sports Center Stadium.

Binh Duong actually got off to a fine start as they edged ahead in the 19th minute when Nguyen Tang Tuan won possession off Dai Lin just outside the box and the ball eventually broke to Nguyen Trong Hoang, who coolly slotted through the legs of Wang Dalei.

But eight minutes later, the hosts drew level after Yang Xu out-jumped David Vrankovic inside the area to meet Diego Tardelli’s right-wing cross and send a header into the top corner.

Tardelli was the provider again as the Chinese Super League side took the lead a minute after the hour mark; Junior Urso making a late run into the box to meet his compatriot’s low pass and got enough on his shot to put the ball over the line before Au Van Hoan cleared it away.

And in the 70th minute, Shandong went on to seal the victory as Yang again got the better of Vrankovic to break free inside the box, before somehow managing to force the ball past the onrushing Nguyen Quoc Thien Esele for his side’s third goal.

There is now mathematically no way Binh Duong can progress to the knockout stage and they are already consigned to finishing bottom of the group, while Kashiwa Reysol and Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors currently occupy the top two.

Wednesday’s AFC Champions League Results (East Zone)

Group E

Kashiwa Reysol 3-2 Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors

Shandong Luneng Taishan 3-1 Becamex Binh Duong

Group F

Seongnam FC 2-1 Buriram United

Guangzhou R&F 0-5 Gamba Osaka

SLNA up to second in V.League; Quang Ninh on the rise

Song Lam Nghe An moved into second place in the V.League 1 on Sunday after recording a 3-1 win over Dong Thap at the Cao Lanh Stadium.

It was Dong Thap who took the lead after nine minutes when Nguyen Minh Hung found the back of the net, but Tran Phi Son fired the visitors level three minutes before the hour mark.

Buoyed by the equaliser, SLNA began to really push forward in search of the winner and the perseverance paid off in the 82nd minute when Le The Cuong put them in front, before Ho Phuc Tinh added a third in injury-time to wrap up the three points.

The result was enough to move them up to second on the table and they are one of three teams tied on 20 points, just two behind leaders Becamex Binh Duong.

Another of those teams are Than Quang Ninh, who moved two spots up to fourth after defeating Dong Tam Long An 1-0 at the Long An Stadium.

Vietnam international Vu Minh Tuan was the hero for Quang Ninh as he broke the deadlock in the 23rd minute, which ultimately proved enough to hand his side the win.

Meanwhile, SHB Da Nang recorded only their second triumph of the campaign in style after cruising to a 5-0 rout of XSKT Can Tho at the Can Tho Stadium.

The visitors had only been leading by a single goal at the break courtesy of Tran Van Hoc’s 37th-minute opener, but Nguyen Vu Phong soon doubled their advantage from the penalty spot nine minutes into the second half.

Melquiades Gomez then effectively put the result beyond doubt when he scored in the 76th minute and a fourth arrived through a Vo Huy Toan strike with four minutes remaining, before Vu Phong grabbed his second of the evening in injury-time to round off the scoring for Da Nang.

Over at the Pleiku Stadium, Dong Nai managed to snap a two-game losing streak after playing out a 2-2 draw with Hoang Anh Gia Lai.

Although the visitors had taken the lead when Christian Amougou netted in the 36th minute, Nguyen Phong Hong Duy equalised for HAGL six minutes after the hour mark and they then found themselves ahead through a Phan Thanh Hau strike nine minutes later.

But just when it looked like they were going to be defeated once more, Nguyen Hai Anh popped up to score in the 91st minute to earn Dong Nai a share of the spoils.

In Sunday’s final game, Nguyen Dinh Hiep struck the only goal of the evening in the 63rd minute to hand Hai Phong a 1-0 win over QNK Quang Nam at the Lach Tray Stadium.

Sunday’s V.League 1 Results

XSKT Can Tho 0-5 SHB Da Nang

Dong Thap 1-3 Song Lam Nghe An

Dong Tam Long An 0-1 Than Quang Ninh

Hai Phong 1-0 QNK Quang Nam

Hoang Anh Gia Lai 2-2 Dong Nai

Ha Noi’s poor run continues with Sanna Khanh Hoa loss

Ha Noi T&T’s disappointing start to the 2015 V.League 1 season continued on Saturday after they were beaten 1-0 by newly-promoted Sanna Khanh Hoa at the Nha Trang Stadium.

The only goal of the game arrived in the 17th minute when Brazilian centre-back Tales dos Santos popped up at the other end to net his first goal for Khanh Hoa, which was ultimately enough to hand them maximum points.

The result was enough to send them two places up to fifth on the table, and it already looks as though they will have enough in them to steer clear of the relegation zone this season.

Meanwhile, Ha Noi have now won just two of their opening ten matches, and it looks like they will struggle to challenge for the title given they already find themselves 12 points off the pace.

Sanna Khanh Hoa: Nguyen Tuan Manh, Nguyen Tan Dien, Tran Van Vu, Tales dos Santos, Tran Trong Binh, Nguyen Tan Tai, Nguyen Hoang Quoc Chi, Cao Van Trien, Le Cao Hoai An, Nguyen Viet Binh, Uche Iheruome.

Ha Noi T&T: Duong Hong Son, Nguyen Hong Tien, Nguyen Van Bien, Daneil Cyrus, Nguyen Quoc Long, Bui Van Hieu, Do Duy Manh, Pham Thanh Luong, Nguyen Van Quyet, Hoang Vu Samson, Gonzalo Marronkle.

Binh Duong stay two points clear with Thanh Hoa draw

Becamex Binh Duong maintained their two-point lead at the top of the V.League 1 on Friday evening after playing out a 1-1 draw with second-placed Thanh Hoa.

Following a goalless first half at the Thanh Hoa Stadium, it was Binh Duong who took the lead in the 58th minute courtesy of a Le Duc Tuan own-goal.

But just when it looked like the defending champions would be claiming all three points, Patrick da Silva netted the equaliser to earn the hosts a share of the spoils.

The result leaves Binh Duong a couple of points clear at the top of the table, although Thanh Hoa’s place in second spot is now under threat given Dong Tam Long An, Song Lam Nghe An and Than Quang Ninh could all pull level with them by the end of the weekend.

Thanh Hoa: To Vinh Loi, Le Duc Tuan, Tran Tan Dat, Danny van Bakel, Dao Van Phong, Nguyen Quy Suu, Cao Sy Cuong, Vo Duy Nam, Hoang Dinh Tung, Le Thanh Binh, Le Van Tan.

Becamex Binh Duong: Nguyen Quoc Thien Esele, Au Van Hoan, Le Phuoc Tu, Nguyen Xuan Luan, Nguyen Xuan Thanh, Mai Tien Thanh, Moses Oloya, Abass Cheikh Dieng, Nguyen Trong Hoang, Trinh Quang Vinh, Nguyen Anh Duc.

Singapore to meet Indonesia; Thais face Malaysia, Vietnam

Hosts Singapore’s hopes of advancing to the semi-finals of the 2015 Southeast Asian (SEA) Games were handed a boost on Wednesday after they were handed a fairly favourable draw.

Seeded as hosts for the Under-23 tournament, the Lions were drawn in Group A alongside Indonesia, Myanmar, Cambodia and Philippines.

With only the top two progressing to the last four, it looks like Singapore will be battling for qualification with the Indonesians and Myanmar.

Nonetheless, Cambodia will be confident in their prospects having recorded a 2-1 win over Singapore just last month, while Philippines have taken huge strides in recent years and are now considered a legitimate threat in the region.

But it appears most of the drama will come in Group B after defending champions Thailand were pitted against 2011 winners Malaysia, Vietnam, Laos, Brunei Darussalam and Timor-Leste.

Under Kiatisuk Senamuang, who also guided the senior team to victory at the 2014 AFF Suzuki Cup, the Thais are favourites to finish top with Malaysia and Vietnam expected to battle it out for the second qualifying berth.

However, with the likes of Soukaphone Vongchiengkham and Ketsada Souksavanh to call upon, Laos could just spring an upset or two along the way.

2015 Southeast Asian Games Draw

Group A: Singapore, Indonesia, Myanmar, Cambodia, Philippines

Group B: Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam, Laos, Brunei Darussalam, Timor-Leste

Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia to meet; Lions set for Japan duel

Three of Southeast Asia’s traditional heavyweights – Thailand, Vietnam and Indonesia – will face off in the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifiers are they were all drawn in Group F on Tuesday.

The draw for the second round of qualification took place in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and saw a total of ten teams from Southeast Asia find out their path to the 2018 World Cup in Russia, which will see each of them play eight matches from June to next March.

Apart from the World Cup, the qualifiers will also double up for the 2019 AFC Asian Cup, which means Thailand, Vietnam and Indonesia all stand an excellent chance of progressing to the continent’s biggest tournament.

Although Iraq are favourites to finish top of Group F, the trio of Southeast Asian countries will all fancy their prospects of fighting it out for second place, given the remaining team is minnows Chinese Taipei.

Over in Group E, Singapore and Cambodia both face a tricky route to the next round after being pitted against Asian giants Japan, Syria and Afghanistan.

Malaysia find themselves in Group A along with regional rivals Timor-Leste, although they will be aware they will have to get a result against either United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia or Palestine to have any chance of advancing to the Asian Cup.

Neighbours Myanmar and Laos will meet in Group G along with Korea Republic, Kuwait and Lebanon, while Philippines face Uzbekistan, Bahrain, Korea DPR and Yemen in Group H.

2018 FIFA World Cup Second Round Qualifying Draw

Group A: United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Palestine, Timor Leste, Malaysia

Group B: Australia, Jordan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Bangladesh

Group C: China, Qatar, Maldives, Bhutan, Hong Kong

Group D: Iran, Oman, India, Turkmenistan, Guam

Group E: Japan, Syria, Afghanistan, Singapore, Cambodia

Group F: Iraq, Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia, Chinese Taipei

Group G: Korea Republic, Kuwait, Lebanon, Myanmar, Laos

Group H: Uzbekistan, Bahrain, Philippines, Korea DPR, Yemen

Binh Duong retain two-point lead as Thanh Hoa go second

V.League 1 leaders Becamex Binh Duong remain two points clear at the top of the table after beating Dong Nai 2-1 at the Bien Hoa Stadium on Sunday evening.

It initially looked as though the visitors would be in for a testing match after they had Nguyen Tang Tuan sent off for a second bookable offence in the 37th minute, but they took the lead when Abass Cheikh Dieng scored on the stroke of halftime.

Nguyen Hai Anh did equalise for Dong Nai nine minutes into the second half when he converted from the penalty spot, but Mai Tien Thanh struck in the 76th minute to win it for Binh Duong.

The result was enough to help them maintain a two-point lead at the summit although their closest challengers are now Thanh Hoa, who moved into second place following a 3-1 triumph over Dong Thap.

Thanh Hoa got off to a dream start when Hoang Dinh Tung put them in front after just four minutes, before he doubled his and his side’s tally two minutes after the break.

Dinh Tung then completed his hat-trick in the 75th minute to wrap up the three points for the visitors, although Dong Thap added some respectability to the scoreline when Samson Kpenonsen grabbed a consolation in the final minute.

Meanwhile, Dong Tam Long An are up to third on the table after Rafael scored the only goal of the game in the 21st minute to hand them a 1-0 victory over XSKT Can Tho at the Can Tho Stadium.

Ha Noi T&T’s disappointing start to the 2015 season continued as they were held to a 1-1 draw by Hai Phong and languish 12 points off the pace in eighth spot.

Things could have been worse for them as Errol Stevens had fired Hai Phong ahead three minutes after the restart, but Hoang Vu Samson levelled the scores in the 76th minute to earn the visitors a share of the spoils.

Over at the Chi Lang Stadium, SHB Da Nang stretched their unbeaten run to four games as they played out a 1-1 draw with Sanna Khanh Hoa.

Following a goalless first half, Da Nang took the lead through Nguyen Vu Phong’s 51st-minute opener, although Uche Iheruome found the back of the net with ten minutes remaining to force the draw for his side.

Song Lam Nghe An maintained their impressive form as they moved into fourth place with a 2-0 triumph over Hoang Anh Gia Lai at the Vinh Stadium; Pham Manh Hung breaking the deadlock after eight minutes before Tran Phi Son made sure of the result by adding a second in the 73rd minute.

Finally, there was no separating Than Quang Ninh and QNK Quang Nam following a 1-1 draw between the two sides at the Cua Ong Stadium.

Although the visitors were initially headed for maximum points courtesy of Dinh Thanh Trung’s 54th-minute strike, both teams ultimately had to settle for a point as Nghiem Xuan Tu netted to force the draw with four minutes left to go.

Sunday’s V.League 1 Results

XSKT Can Tho 0-1 Dong Tam Long An

Dong Thap 1-3 Thanh Hoa

Dong Nai 1-2 Becamex Binh Duong

SHB Da Nang 1-1 Sanna Khanh Hoa

Song Lam Nghe An 2-0 Hoang Anh Gia Lai

Than Quang Ninh 1-1 QNK Quang Nam

Ha Noi T&T 1-1 Hai Phong