Hai Phong pulled themselves away from relegation danger with a 3-0 win over fellow strugglers Thanh Hoa away in Vinh City.
|Captain Pham Van Thang of Thanh Hoa runs a ball during V.Laeague match between Thanh Hoa and Hai Phong. Thanh Hoa lose 0-3. Photo vtc.vn|
It was a poor start for Mai Xuan Hop in his V.League 1 debut after he was appointed Thanh Hoa's manager five days ago.
The V.League’s youngest coach’s side, on 25 points, dropped to third from the bottom after a fourth defeat in a row.
Hai Phong just needed 12 minutes to open the scoring, as Nguyen Thanh Dong poked him in the box from a corner.
Thanh Hoa's front line struggled without star men Rimario Allando Gordon and Errol Anthony Stevens and couldn't penetrate the away side's defence.
Hop strengthened the team’s midfield when he sent on midfielder Trong Hung in the second half but it was not enough to turn things around.
Hai Phong doubled the score when Le Pham Thanh Long fired a fantastic strike in from the edge of the box, leaving goalkeeper To Vinh Loi with no chance.
Jeremie Lynch made in 3-0 in injury time.
The result leaves the northern port side in 10th place in the table on 26 points, three clear of the relegation playoff spot.
In Sunday's other fixture, hosts Sanna Khanh Hoa lost 1-4 to Song Lam Nghe An in Nha Trang City.
Ho Tan Tai once in each half while Joel Vinicius and Micheal Olaha scored one each after the break.
Khanh Hoa's only joy was through a close-range Nguyen Huu Khoi goal in the 35th minute.
Nghe An climb to fourth in the ranking with 30 points, while Khanh Hoa remain rooted to the bottom of the table on 20 points.
HCM City remained in second position and narrowed the gap with leaders Ha Noi FC after their 3-1 win over Quang Ninh on Saturday.
HCM City have 38 points and are five points behind the defending champions who beat SHB Da Nang 2-1 on Friday.
The southern side's Victor Mansaray scored a double in the sixth and 36th minutes, while Vu Quang Nam netted 16 minutes in.
Quang Ninh grabbed their only goal in the 35th minute through Xuan Hung before strikers Mac Hong Quan and Rod Dyachenko missed threatening chances near the end.
In another match, Sai Gon FC grabbed three important points after beating Viettel 1-0 away from home.
Vu Tin scored the winner in the ninth minute to push Sai Gon out of the bottom three to 11th.
Viettel not only lost but also suffered a big blow when key midfielder Nguyen Trong Hoang tore a thigh ligament and looks set to miss a month of action.