Vietnamese representatives Hanoi FC and Becamex Binh Duong recorded important victories in their last group matches on May 15, to see them through to the ASEAN zonal semifinals at the 2019 AFC Cup.
|Hanoi FC players celebrate Oseni's opening goal. (Photo: AFC)|
V.League champions Hanoi FC did not have their strongest lineup for the home clash against Singapore’s Tampines Rovers, due to the absence of some pillars, including Van Quyet, Duy Manh and Van Dai, for various reasons.
However, a high level of determination allowed them to get the better of the game right from the first whistle.
Chu Dinh Nghiem’s side needed just 10 minutes to open the scoring, with forward Ganiyu Bolayi Oseni slotting the ball in from close range after two successive head passes from Pape Omar and Thanh Chung.
Inspired by the early opener, Hanoi FC went on to double their advantage in the 31st minute thanks to Thanh Chung’s back header toward the far corner.
Tampines Rovers then strengthened their attacks seeking to narrow the score. However, the guests’ ambition was dealt a big blow, as they had to play the second half with only ten men following Yasir’s indirect red card before the break.
Hanoi FC continued to hold control in the later 45 minutes, but could not manage to net additional goals. The 2-0 score remained unchanged until the final whistle.
With the convincing victory, the Vietnamese league champions wrapped up their Group F campaign as the winners, level on 13 points with Tampines Rovers but better on goal difference.
Hanoi FC will play the ASEAN zonal semifinal against the Philippines’ Ceres Negros, who topped Group G with 15 points.
The remaining semifinal clash will be between Indonesia’s PSM Makassar (Group H winners) and Vietnam’s Becamex Binh Duong, who narrowly beat Ceres Negros 1-0 thanks to Wander Luiz’s 88th-minute strike from midfield, to finish the group stage as the best second-placed team.