2019 AFC Cup Inter-zone Semi-final First Leg

Quang Hai inspires Hanoi to narrow home win over Altyn Asyr

Tuesday, 2019-08-20 21:10:59
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Quang Hai (C) scores an important brace to earn Hanoi FC a 3-2 win over visitors Altyn Asyr in their AFC Cup 2019 inter-zone semi-final first leg at Hanoi’s Hang Day Stadium on Tuesday night. (Photo: NDO/Tran Hai)
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NDO – Star man Nguyen Quang Hai scored a brace to help hosts Hanoi FC beat Altyn Asyr 3-2 during their AFC Cup 2019 inter-zone semi-final first leg at Hanoi’s Hang Day Stadium on August 20.

>>> Hanoi FC vs Altyn Asyr - Preview: Hanoi hope to utilise home-field advantage

Quang Hai’s superb free kick in the 41st minute cancelled Myrat Yagsyyew’s opener for the Turkmenistan champions in the fourth minute. Hai put his team ahead at the one hour mark, thanks to another cool left-footed finish inside the box, but Altymyrat Annadurdyyew soon restored the balance for the visitors just two minutes later.

Hanoi won a penalty late in the second half and Nguyen Van Quyet made no mistake from the spot to seal the 3-2 win for the hosts. The Vietnamese champions will take this crucial lead into next week's second leg in Ashgabat on August 27.

Despite facing last year’s runners-up in the inter-zone semis, Hanoi were still determined to create history this season. Under the cheer of their home fans, the reigning V.League champions dominated the game from the start.

Hanoi FC’s starting XI for their AFC Cup 2019 inter-zone semi-final first leg against Altyn Asyr. (Photo: NDO/Tran Hai)

Altyn Asyr’s starting XI for their AFC Cup 2019 inter-zone semi-final first leg against hosts Hanoi. (Photo: NDO/Tran Hai)

However, midfielder Duc Huy’s wrong pass on their half sent the ball to the visitors and they quickly launched a counter-attack. Yagsyyew beat the offside trap before facing keeper Nguyen Van Cong with no chance to deny his finish.

Hanoi strengthened attacks for an equaliser and they were close in the 23rd minute when Pape Omar met Quang Hai’s long ball with a header, but he was unlucky as the ball hit the bar, with Papa Ibou Kebe’s follow-up effort also denied by the woodwork.

However, Quang Hai showed his class four minutes before the break with a superb free kick, curling a left-footed effort that forced keeper Mammet Orazmuhammedow to be rooted.

Hanoi entered the second half with great determination and again had a dominant performance over the visitors, as in the first 45 minutes. Hai struck again in the 61st minute as he ran inside the box before curling a left-footer into the top corner to give Hanoi a 2-1 lead.

Hanoi’s star Quang Hai (L) celebrates with his teammate after scoring against Altyn Asyr. (Photo: NDO/Tran Hai)

The hosts’ celebration lasted only two minutes as another sloppy play at the back saw them drop the lead. Defender Van Dung gave the ball away cheaply to help the visitors launch a counter-attack. Yagsyyew’s through ball was then clinically finished by Annadurdyyew to bring the visitors their second goal.

Hanoi wasted no time with regrets as they constantly attacked with dozens of good opportunities. Hung Dung, Van Dai and Moses continuously tried their luck, but it wasn’t until the 86th minute that it would pay off, as Hung Dung won a penalty for the hosts after being brought down in the box by Orazmuhammedow.

Substitute Van Quyet stepped up to take the penalty and put it away emphatically to restore Hanoi's lead with just two minutes remaining.

Hanoi’s midfielder Do Hung Dung (L) in action with Altyn Asyr’s players. (Photo: NDO/Tran Hai)

It was too little too late for the guests to salvage a point in Hanoi tonight as they suffered a 3-2 loss to the Vietnamese side. Hanoi become the first ASEAN side to win a match in the inter-zone since the introduction of the tournament’s current format in 2017. They will take the crucial lead to Ashgabat for the second leg next week but still have plenty of work to do after having conceded two away goals.

The winners of the two-legged tie will progress to the Inter-Zone Play-Off Final where they will face the winners of the other inter-zone semi-final between Bangladesh’s Abahani Dhaka and DPR Korea’s April 25 SC.

Home fans celebrate during the AFC Cup 2019 inter-zone semi-final first leg between hosts Hanoi and visitors Altyn Asyr. (Photo: NDO/Tran Hai)

TRUNG HUNG