Vietnam club advance to AFC Cup zonal final

By Lam Thoa   June 25, 2019 | 06:39 pm PT
Vietnam club advance to AFC Cup zonal final
Nguyen Van Quyet (C) celebrates after scoring the second goal for Hanoi FC at their AFC Cup semifinal against Ceres Negros, June 25, 2019. Photo courtesy of Hanoi Football Club.
Hanoi FC entered the zonal final of the AFC Cup with a 2-1 victory over Filipino Ceres Negros in their second leg semifinal at home.

At the Hang Day Stadium on Tuesday, despite having an away goal advantage after drawing 1-1, Hanoi did not play defensively and instead put pressure on the Philippine team right from the start.

Coach Chu Dinh Nghiem surprised fans by pushing midfielder Pape Omar up front in place of injured striker Ganiyu Oseni.

Hanoi created four clear chances in the first half. In the 17th minute, a Nguyen Quang Hai pass presented an opportunity but Nguyen Thanh Chung failed to tap in. Soon after that Do Hung Dung comfortably took a shot from inside the box but it sailed over the bar.

In the 39th minute Ngan Van Dai sent a beautiful curler from outside that went past the opposing goalkeeper but could not beat the bar. One minute before the first half ended captain Nguyen Van Quyet had a clear shot but was off target.

Hanoi kept pressing constantly in the second half and the breakthrough came in the 59th minute. Quyet broke through on the right and passed to Omar who made no mistake.

The goal spurred Ceres Negros push forward in search of an equalizer but all they managed was to concede another goal. Omar’s shot was deflected by Quyet, who this time chipped confidently into the net.

Ceres Negros got one goal back through Curt Dizon in the 85th minute. In the remaining period the game was intense since Ceres Negros only needed one more goal to advance. But goalkeeper Nguyen Van Cong was excellent and kept out everything thrown at him.

Hanoi FC now await the winner of the other semifinal between PSM Makasaar and Becamex Binh Duong, which will be on Wednesday afternoon, in the final.

The winner of the final will be the AFC Cup Southeast Asia zonal champion, and they will play the West Asia zonal champion to see who lift the 2019 AFC Cup.

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