Hanoi FC exit AFC Champions League with 0-2 loss to Korean Pohang

By Duc Dong   November 29, 2023 | 06:35 pm PT
Hanoi FC exit AFC Champions League with 0-2 loss to Korean Pohang
A Hanoi FC player (C) in an AFC Champions League game with South Korean Pohang Steelers on Nov. 29, 2023. Photo by Hanoi FC
The 0-2 defeat against South Korea club Pohang Steelers on Wednesday night eliminated Hanoi FC from the AFC Champions League.

After defeating Wuhan Three Towns 2-1 in an earlier group J match, Hanoi had held on to hopes of advancing, but needed at least a point in the clash with Pohang.

However, despite fielding a strong lineup, Hanoi fell short. In the first leg, the guests had put up a decent show but still lost 2-4, but in the second, they were completely outmatched.

Pohang, who, with four wins, had already secured a place in the next round and rested several key players, took control of the game right from the beginning and had twice as much possession as their opponents, but had a hard time breaking through Hanoi’s packed defense.

The turning point came in the 33rd minute when Hong Yun-Sang was fouled by Dao Van Nam inside the box and the referee immediately awarded a penalty.

A VAR review failed to overturn the decision, and striker Lee Ho-Jae sank the ball in the left corner from the spot. Goalkeeper Quan Van Chuan guessed the direction right, but unfortunately for him the ball bounced off the post into the net.

In the closing minutes of the first half Hanoi pushed forward in the quest for an equalizer. One of their attempts almost succeeded when Nguyen Thanh Chung won the ball and quickly passed it to Tuan Hai, whose powerful shot from outside the box sent the ball just inches away from goal.

At the beginning of the second half, when Hanoi were still struggling to create a chance, they conceded the second goal. In the 53rd minute, from a corner kick, the ball hit a Pohang player's back and found defender Ha Chang-rae who scored with a header.

Van Quyet and Hung Dung were subbed in and suddenly the match became more even.

Quyet had at least two scoring chances from Tuan Hai's passes but could not convert. In the 79th minute Pham Xuan Manh had a wonderful chance to score with a tap-in, but he kicked the ball over the bar.

After squandering several chances, Hanoi FC almost conceded a third goal when Han Chan-Hee curled the ball in but hit the crossbar.

The 2-0 victory extended Pohang's winning streak at the ACL to five games.

"Though we have been eliminated, in the last game we will still give our best for the sake of the fans and for the pride of Vietnamese football," Hai said after the match.

In their final group game, Hanoi will face Japan's Urawa Red Diamonds, who beat Wuhan 2-1 on Wednesday to climb to second place.

go to top