Home advantage has been a decisive factor in the V-League this year.
Fans have flocked to stadiums nationwide to watch national football premiership V-League games this year. Home support has been one of the crucial factors in helping host teams dominate visiting opponents.
The Viet Nam Football Federation (VFF), said host teams have won 32 of the 56 matches in the first eight rounds of the league – bucking the trend of the last five years.
In the second round of the V-League, six out of seven host teams won on their home turf, only Song Lam Nghe An were held to a goalless draw by Khanh Hoa.
SHB Da Nang, Dong Thap and Khanh Hoa remain unbeaten at home.
Meanwhile, several teams are complaining that they are being forced to play in the midday heat.
Last Sunday, Ha Noi-based The Cong, or the Army team, were crushed away to southern Dong Thap 5-0 at Cao Lanh Stadium. Coaches and players later complained that the match should have been played later in the day.
VFF regulations state that matches must start at 3.30pm, if stadiums do not have floodlighting. Better off clubs can start matches at 5pm.
Dong Thap, whose Cao Lanh Stadium was inaugurated in 1996, does not have floodlighting on the grounds because the additional cost cannot be justified.
However, Brazilian-born striker Kesley Alves, of Binh Duong, who was granted Vietnamese citizenship only last month, said heat exhaustion was dictating the outcome of football matches played at the stadium.
“We often play late at 4pm or 5pm at home at the Go Dau stadium, but we have to field early afternoon in the heat at the Cao Lanh Stadium,” Kesley told reporters.
“We sweat it out while warming up half an hour before the game and are totally exhausted by the end of 90 minutes. Meanwhile, Dong Thap players are used to training in the hot weather.” Kesley told VTC sport newspaper.
Meanwhile, Thanh Hoa complained that they were forced to start at 3pm at short notice when playing Hai Phong Cement at Lach Tray Stadium on March 29. The visitors lost 2-1.
“They [Hai Phong] changed the starting time of the game from 3.30pm to 3pm without advanced warning. They also allowed us to train just once at the main stadium,” Thanh Hoa coach Nguyen Van Tien said.
Only HCM City’s Thong Nhat Stadium and Ha Noi’s Hang Day Stadium have been praised by visiting teams, while Binh Duong’s Go Dau Stadium is one of the best equipped.
Da Nang’s Chi Lang Stadium, Pleiku in Gia Lai and Nha Trang’s Khanh Hoa stadium have also come in for their fair share of praise. Furthermore, visiting teams are put up in comfortable accommodation and transport is provided.
According to the VFF about 95,000 fans attend V-League matches each week.
Chi Lang stadium in Da Nang attracted the largest number of fans, with attendance figures of about 35,000.
Dong Thap and Vinh meanwhile attract some 16,000 each week, while 11,000 attend Nha Trang fixtures and about 4,500 visit Ha Noi’s Hang Day Stadium.