Hanoi FC knocked out of AFC Champions League

By Hoang Nguyen   February 19, 2019 | 03:04 am PT
Hanoi FC knocked out of AFC Champions League
Vietnamese midfielder Nguyen Quang Hai (R) in the match against Shandong Luneng on Tuesday. Photo by VnExpress/Anh Le
A 1-4 defeat at the hands of Shandong Luneng on Tuesday means Hanoi FC cannot enter the AFC Champions League group stage.

Instead, the team will now focus on the AFC Cup, a lower division tournament.

Midfielder Nguyen Quang Hai supplied a key pass that helped his team draw first blood against a much stronger opponent, but Hanoi FC went down 1-4 to China’s Shandong Luneng.

Both teams played attacking football in the first half, and created many scoring chances. It was Hanoi FC who managed to score first with a volley from captain Nguyen Van Quyet in the 40th. Hai dribbled past two players and passed the ball to Nigerian Ganiyu Oseni who sent an assist that was converted.

After the first goal, Hanoi FC continued to create chances, but couldn’t convert them into goals.

Shandong Luneng went all out for the equalizer in the second half, and in the 65th minute, a false clearance from defender Nguyen Thanh Chung allowed Liu Junshuai to equalize.

Three minutes later, Ganiyu Oseni missed a great opportunity for Hanoi FC to get ahead.

Shandong scored the second in the 73rd minute via a header by Graziano Pellè, their key striker. As Hanoi FC persisted with its attacks, it ended up conceding another goal, with Pellè providing an assist for Liu Binbin.

The match was in stoppage time when Zhou Haibin tapped in another pass to make it 4-1 for Shandong.

For the AFC Cup, Hanoi FC is in group F, alongside Singapore's Tampines Rovers, Myanmar's Yangon United and Nagaworld of Cambodia. Its first game will be against Nagaworld on February 26.

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