Hanoi FC extends winning streak, eyes semifinal berth at AFC Cup

By Lam Thoa   May 2, 2019 | 04:26 pm GMT+7
Hanoi FC’s hopes of an AFC Cup semifinal berth remained within reach after a 5-1 away win over Nagaworld.

The victory in group stage match Wednesday followed a 10-0 thrashing of the Cambodian club at the Hang Day stadium in Hanoi on February 26.

While the visitors were the clear favorites, Wednesday’s match was less of a walkover than expected as Nagaworld were determined to avoid another heavy defeat.

Hanoi FC barely had a shot on target in the first 30 minutes of the game, with a wall of blue shirts in front of Sou Yaty’s goal, with Nagaworld players retreating deep down their own half.

In the 35th minute, Pape Omar Faye managed to open the score for the visitors after a couple of exchanges with Moses Oloya. Seven minutes later, artistic midfielder Nguyen Quang Hai delivered a good ball to Ganiyu Oseni, who fired home emphatically to double the lead.

Anderson Zogbe kept Nagaworld’s hopes of making a match of it alive when his shot deflected off Nhim Sovannara into Nguyen Van Cong’s goal in the 63rd minute.

However, the reigning V. League 1 champions were quick to respond, regaining a two goal advantage in less than five minutes when Tran Van Kien’s strike from outside the six-yard box left goalkeeper Sou Yaty standing.

With four minutes left in the clock, Sou Yaty’s attempt to block Hoang Vu Samson’s header put the ball invitingly at his feet, and the striker made no mistake in finding the back of the net from a close range.

Nguyen Quang Hai capped off another night to forget for Nagaworld when he broke into the box and unselfishly crossed the ball to Oseni for a simple finish, sealing an impressive 5 - 1 victory for Hanoi FC.

Hanoi FCs striker Ganiyu Oseni (white) is surrounding by Nagaworld players on May 1, 2019. Photo by VnExpress/Lam Thoa

Hanoi FC's striker Ganiyu Oseni (white) is surrounding by Nagaworld players on May 1, 2019. Photo by VnExpress/Lam Thoa

After the match, the Nigerian striker expressed his gratitude to his teammate for the assist: "Not only was Quang Hai highly skilful, but he was also selfless. We were having a comfortable lead, he could have scored the last goal, but he decided to return the ball to me for an easier finish. I am grateful to him for the goal."

Hanoi FC have 10 points after five outings and are currently second in group F with three points fewer than Singapore’s Tampines Rovers. The two clubs will meet on May 15 at the Hang Day stadium to determine who will make it to the ASEAN Zone semi-finals. If Hanoi FC is to automatically advance, it is a must-win game.

Another Vietnamese club, Becamex Binh Duong, also secured an important victory when they defeated Persija Jakarta 3 - 1 to boost their chance of becoming the best group runner-up, which would see them qualify for the semi-finals.

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