Da Nang are now thirteen points behind championship leaders Becamex Binh Duong after losing 0-1 to Khatoco Khanh Hoa at home on Saturday.
|Da Nang’s midfielder Giang Thanh Thong (orange) vies with a Khatoco Khanh Hoa’s defender|
A poor display by the host side’s key players let the visitors take the lead midway through the first half, with striker Emmanuel Bentil heading the winner.
Da Nang manager Phan Thanh Hung was forced to field a weakened side after losing center defenders Hung Dung and Bernard to injury and Almeida to suspension while his Khanh Hoa counterpart Le Huu Tuong had to make do without national winger Le Tan Tai and striker Jonathan.
The first chance came to the home team five minutes after kick-off when a Freitas free kick was narrowly saved by a nervously diving goalkeeper Van Thach.
But the locals came undone in the 29th minute when Emmanuel smartly held off Freitas and powered in an unstoppable header from a left corner into the back of the net.
The home team appeared to be down and out after taking the hit while the visitors began to dominate, with Quang Hai and Emmanuel looking lively in the frontline.
Skipper Hong Minh almost put Da Nang level in the 36th minute when his header beat an advanced keeper Van Thach but was cleared off the line by a Khanh Hoa defender.
Da Nang boss Phan Thanh Hung took a gamble when he threw an injured Phan Thanh Phuc in after the break to add more firepower to the frontline.
But his side took a blow soon after when Hong Minh, who still angry at an earlier challenge from Van Phong, pushed the midfielder hard with his elbow.
Referee Vo Minh Tri immediately sent Minh off the field amid the full voice of 3,000 home fans, who were fuming at the skipper.
The visitors took advantage of their newfound numerical supremacy to pile on the pressure. Emmanuel combined well with left-winger Ngoc Dieu to find Quang Hai, who fired the ball narrowly wide.
The Khatoco Khanh Hoa frontman wasted another chance in the 63rd minute when he moved past center defender Binh Minh before taking a shot that beat keeper Duc Cuong but was off-target.
The V-League Petro Viet Nam Gas 2007 Table:
Team P W D L Pts 1 BECAMEX BINH DUONG 16 12 3 1 39 2 DA NANG 16 7 5 4 26 3 PISICO BINH DINH 16 7 4 5 25 4 HALIDA THANH HOA 16 6 7 3 25 5 DONG TAM LONG AN 16 6 5 5 23 6 HOANG ANH GIA LAI 16 6 4 6 22 7 NAM DINH 16 5 6 5 21 8 KHATOCO KHANH HOA 16 6 3 7 21 9 SOUTHERN STEEL SAIGON PORT 16 5 5 6 20 10 SONG LAM NGHE AN 16 4 7 5 19 11 HA NOI ACB 16 4 4 8 16 12 DONG THAP 16 3 7 6 16 13 HOA PHAT HA NOI 16 3 6 7 15 14 HUDA HUE 16 2 6 8 12