AFC Cup: Hanoi FC fight back to lead Group G

Wednesday, 2017-04-05 11:50:08
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Hanoi FC (in white) beat Tampines Rovers both at home and away.
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NDO – The late winning shot by Van Thanh ensured Vietnam’s Hanoi FC a 2-1 win over Singapore’s Tampines Rovers in the 2017 AFC Cup on April 4, thus securing a top spot in Group G with eight points after four matches (two wins, two draws).

Confident after a 4-0 win against the S-League runners-up at My Dinh more than a fortnight ago, the V-League champions took swift control of the game and played offensively right from the beginning.

In contrast, the Singaporean side went for solid defence strategy waiting for opportunities in fast counterattacks. Such caution successfully prevented Hanoi’s attack lineup, including Thanh Luong, Moses Oloya, Van Quyet, Hoang Vu Samson and Quang Hai, from turning any of the chances into the opener during the first 45 minutes.

After the interval, the guests put up pressure trying to break the deadlock, with Van Quyet missing an opportunity to put Hanoi in front as his strike unfortunately hit the post.

Despite lagging behind, Tampines Rovers took good advantage of a rare chance in the 68th minute to open the scoring. Shakir Hamzah dashed into the box and delivered a convenient cross for Yasir Hanapi to fire in from close range for the opener.

However, Tampines’ lead was short-lived as Hanoi’s number 10 striker, Van Quyet, received a through ball from Thanh Luong before beating goalkeeper Izwan Mahbud with a shot at the far corner just seven minutes later.

Following the relief of an equaliser, Hanoi FC strengthened its attack and the team’s efforts paid off two minutes into injury time with the decisive winner by Van Thanh.

With the victory, Hanoi FC takes the top place in Group G with eight points, three points adrift of runners-up Felda United of Malaysia.

The next match for the V-League champions will be against Ceres-Negros of the Philippines on April 19.

Tonight, another Vietnamese representative, Quang Ninh Coal, will host Singapore’s Home United at My Dinh Stadium in its third Group H match. Quang Ninh was temporarily at the bottom of the group with just one point after two matches.