Both Ha Noi FC and Binh Duong, Vietnam’s two representatives in the 2019 AFC Cup, won their final group stage matches yesterday to earn spots in the knockout round of the competition.
|MOVING ON: Binh Duong facing Ceres Negros FC in Group G yesterday. — Photo the-afc.com|
Defending V.League 1 champions Ha Noi FC defeated 10-man Tampines Rovers of Singapore 2-0 to top Group F on goal difference over the Singaporean side.
After six group matches, Ha Noi gained 13 points with a goal difference of +18. Tampines Roves also had 13 points but their goal difference was +7.
Ganiyu Oseni and Nguyen Thanh Chung scored their goals in the first half to help Ha Noi move into the ASEAN zonal semi-finals.
Ha Noi had many opportunities to increase the score after the break, but Doan Van Hau, Do Hung Dung, Nguyen Quang Hai and Hoang Vu Samson all missed chances.
After the match, coach Chu Dinh Nghiem said his players could have scored more than two goals.
“The most important thing is that we gained three points to secure the right to go on,” said Nghiem. “My players forgot the loss against Thanh Hoa in the national premiere league to focus on the decisive match with Tampines Rovers in the continental event.”
“In fact, we created many good chances in the second half but we missed. My players weren’t decisive so no more goals were scored,” Nghiem added.
According to Nghiem, the hot weather during the match sapped the players of their strength.
"My players’ physical strength was affected not only because of this game but also because of their overloaded recent competition schedule,” said Nghiem.
“In the upcoming time, I hope the Viet Nam Football Federation will support us and arrange the competition schedule reasonably for us to have more time to rest and recover our strength,” he said.
Oseni, who scored the opener for Ha Noi, said the team was pleased to move on to the knockout round.
“We will try our best in the next round to go further in the event,” he said.
Meanwhile, Wander Luiz’s spectacular late winner earned Binh Duong a 1-0 victory over Ceres Negros FC in Group G that secured the Vietnamese sides place in the next phase of the competition.
With this win, Binh Duong claimed the berth for the best runners-up in the ASEAN zonal semi-finals.
In the next round, Binh Duong will take on PSM Makassar of Indonesia and Ha Noi FC will meet Ceres Negros of the Philippines.