Hanoi FC draw with Ceres Negros in AFC Cup’s ASEAN zonal semifinals

Wednesday, 2019-06-19 11:29:19
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Hanoi FC (in blue) hold the upper hand ahead of the return leg thanks to the away-goal rule.
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NDO – Reigning V.League champions Hanoi FC played out a 1-1 draw against the Philippines’ Ceres Negros in their ASEAN zonal semifinal first leg at the 2019 AFC Cup on June 18, thus grabbing the upper hand ahead of the return game at Hang Day Stadium in a week’s time.

The Vietnamese representatives came close to opening the scoring after only six minutes, with Nguyen Van Quyet failing to beat keeper Roland Muller in a one-on-one, before Nguyen Quang Hai threatened the home side again with a deflected strike in the box 14 minutes later.

Goalie Van Cong saved Hanoi FC from trailing behind into halftime by denying a close-range shot from Maranon in the 34th minute.

Seven minutes after the break, Pape Omar successfully found the back of the net, but the goal was ruled off-side by the referee. Just five minutes later, Hanoi FC conceded the first goal as Maranon met a right-wing cross with a header toward the far corner.

The following minutes saw the Vietnamese side push hard to equalise the score, with Oseni and Omar missing a number of opportunities.

In the 64th minute, Hanoi manager Chu Dinh Nghiem decided to put Thanh Luong onto the field seeking to strengthen their attacking power. The substitution proved effective as three minutes later Thanh Luong fed the ball to Pape Omar who fired a powerful finish from close range to restore parity for the V.League champions.

Hanoi FC almost produced a successful comeback late in the game, with substitute Hoang Vu Samson taking a delightful through ball from Quang Hai and driving a cunning strike toward the far corner, which was unexpectedly stopped by keeper Roland Muller.

Despite missing out on a victory, the 1-1 draw still gifts Hanoi FC the upper hand ahead of the return game thanks to the away-goal rule. Chu Dinh Nghiem’s side will book their place in the ASEAN zonal final if they secure a win or manage a goalless draw against Ceres Negros at Hang Day Stadium on June 25.