Samson makes difference for Hanoi T&T

Naturalised striker Hoang Vu Samson scored his second hattrick of the season to help Ha Noi T&T overcome hosts Hung Vuong An Giang 4-3 in the late match yesterday.

The Ha Noi-based team's other goal came from attacking midfielder Nguyen Van Quyet, who left the field immediately after scoring his sixth goal of the season due to injury.

Nigerian forward Felix Ajala, naturalised striker Dinh Hoang Max and substitute Vu Trong Thong was the scorers for An Giang.

With three points from their victory, the defending champions climbed to fourth place with 18 points after eight games with three games in hand on the leaders, while rock-bottom An Giang have now gone 11 matches without a single win.

Samson also overtook Nigerian striker Anjembe Timothy as the league's top scorer with 13 goals.

"The flight back from the Asian Confederations Cup wore our players out and we did not start the match well. Playing in the hot weather and conceding an early goal really caused us difficulties in the opening period," said T&T coach Phan Thanh Hung in the post-match conference.

While An Giang's assistant coach Nguyen Chau Hong admitted that Ha Noi deserved the win, he also praised his players.

"For the first time in the season scored the first goal, and against the defending champions, it really motivated us, but we could not stand firm against T&T's quality," said Hong.

It was a promising start for An Giang against one of the title contenders when Ajala opened the scoring just five minutes after the kick-off, but their happiness was short-lived when Samson equalised six minutes later with a close-range tap-in.

The home team opted for a counter-attacking game plan and sat back while T&T probed for an opening with the majority of the possession.

The hosts, who had only scored five goals before this match, once again went in front through Max, who capitalised on defender Nguyen Van Bien's failure to clear the ball.

Diminutive but skilful midfielder Nguyen Ngoc Duy almost drew the match level but his shot flew just over the bar.

The visiting team continued their domination in the second half and Quyet levelled the match after six minutes, beating keeper Tran Van Hoa with a snap shot after being released into the box by Ngoc.

Coach Nhan Thien Nhan urged his team on but they were left exposed at the back and Samson punished them, first with a header from Cao Sy Cuong's left corner and then a clever backheel.

Thong pulled a goal back with five minutes to go, giving the home fans a reason to wait for the final whistle, but they were left disappointed as T&T played the clock down without being threatened.

Viet Nam win medals at int'l taekwondo tournament

Vietnamese athletes won one silver and one bronze medal at the German Open, an international taekwondo tournament that wrapped up on Monday in Hamburg City.

Doan Thi Huong Giang was second in the women's 49kg category and Pham Thu Hien came third in the women's 62kg class.

Viet Nam ranked eighth out of 39 teams.

HCM City face historic tennis finals

Defending champions HCM City entered the final round of both the men's and women's categories at the National Team Tennis Championships in Hue City.

In the men's draw, HCM City 1 defeated Military 1 2-1 in the first semi-final match. In the final, they will play Ca Mau who won 2-1 over Da Nang in the second semis.

The women's final match today will see HCM City take on Military. HCM City dominated Kien Giang, winning 2-0 in the first match, while Military struggled to defeat Da Nang 2-0.

It is the third consecutive time HCM City has made it to the final stage of the competitions. A potential win could see the side set a record for the most consecutive wins.

Viet Nam U19 lose friendly match in Belgium

Viet Nam's U19 lost 1-2 in a friendly match with a team of players from Ghana and Belgium's Arsenal JMG Academy in Belgium yesterday.

Ghana pocketed one goal in each half of the match before Nguyen Cong Phuong narrowed the result minutes before the final whistle.

The Vietnamese had lost 1-3 to the same rivals earlier.

The U19 team will play one last match in Belgium on Friday before returning home three days later.

Meanwhile, the Viet Nam Football Federation has shortlisted 16 of the best U19 players from the recent national championship with a view to strengthen the current squad.

The shortlist will be sent to head coach Graechen Guillume who will make the final decision upon his return to Viet Nam.

The U19 team will take part in the Southeast Asian Championship in Myanmar in October.

Teams battle at national champs

HCM City 1 powered through at the National Teams Tennis Championships yesterday beating Kien Giang 2-0 in the quarter-finals of the men's category in Hue.

In the other quarter-finals, Da Nang 1 overcame Binh Duong 2-0, but their city teammates lost 0-2 to Military 1.

Ca Mau defeated Military 2 2-0 in an easy match later on.

In the semi-finals today, HCM City 1 will meet Military 1 while Da Nang 1 will face Ca Mau.

The women's semis are also organised with HCM City vs Kien Giang and Military vs Da Nang.

The men's competition follows the Davis Cup formula while Fed Cup rules are applied for the women.

HCM City are the defending champions of both categories.

The finals will take place on April 18.

Ninh Binh return to AFC training

Ninh Binh players who are not involved in the ongoing match fixing investigation have resumed training for their Asian Football Confederation Cup tie.

Among them are key foreign players Patiyo Tambwe, Voinea Petrisor, Sim Woon-sub and Kavin Bryan, along with naturalised Vietnamese Dinh Van Ta and Hoang Vissai.

Coach Nguyen Van Sy has also called up some members of the U19 squad to practise with the first team.

Ninh Binh had said they would quit both domestic and international tournaments following the scandal, but reversed that decision following an appeal from the Viet Nam Football Federation.

On April 22, Ninh Binh will play Yangon United in their last match of Group G. Both two teams have already qualified for the knock-out round.