Ngo Hoang Thinh scored a late winner to help HCM City FC beat hosts Quang Ninh 2-1 in V.League 1 at Cam Pha Stadium yesterday.
The midfielder had been out for three weeks and only returned yesterday.
The win keeps HCM City on top of the table with 23 points, leaving defending champions Hà Nội behind with a gap of five points.
Hà Nội will play on Sunday evening.
Despite playing away from home, HCM City scored the opener in just 11 minutes.
Silva Dos Anios Joel Vinicius stole the ball from Quảng Ninh defender Lastro Neven and finished with ease against his former club.
Under South Korean coach Chung Hae-seong, who puts defence first, HCMC failed to push their advantage and were pegged back by the hosts through former national striker Mạc Hồng Quân in the 36th minute with a tap-in.
Giang Trần Quách Tân then wasted two chances for the hosts, firing wide each time.
Vinicius also had a one-on-one with Quảng Ninh keeper Hoài Anh but he was flagged for foul on Neven.
Quảng Ninh started the second half brightly, with Nguyễn Trung Hiếu and Nghiêm Xuân Tú both testing goalie Thanh Diệp.
Chung brought on Thịnh to strengthen his defence, and must have been surprised by the result.
He silenced the home supporters with a goal in stoppage time, marking an impressive comeback from injury.
In other games this weekend, Hải Phòng will play high-flying Thanh Hóa at Lạch Tracy Stadium.
The hosts have depended too much on foreign striker Andre Diego Fagan who has lost form recently. They have won only one game in five matches.
The visiting side are on a roll after trouncing defending champions Hà Nội FC 4-1 last week.
In HCM City, Sài Gòn will entertain Viettel who suffered an unexpected loss to Hoàng Anh Gia Lai last week at home.
Nam Định versus Quảng Nam is a meeting between two teams trying to escape the relegation zone.
Quảng Nam are second from bottom but need a result to lift them out.
Former champions Hoàng Anh Gia Lai will host three-time winners Becamex Bình Dương in Pleiku. The hosts are in good spirit after going three undefeated. Meanwhile Bình Dương are on a high after their AFC Cup win that put them through to the knock-out phase. — VNS