Hanoi FC are through to the ASEAN Zone final of AFC Cup 2019 after beating Ceres-Negros 2-1 on Tuesday to claim a 3-2 aggregate win in the zonal semi-finals.
After a 1-1 draw in last week’s first leg, it was Hanoi who started the return encounter the brighter of the two sides as they looked the make the most of their home advantage at the Hang Day Stadium.
They created plenty of chances in the first half but were just unable to find the breakthrough, with Ngan Van Dai coming closest with an ambitious long-range drive that clipped the bar, while Do Hung Dung and Nguyen Van Quyet both spurned excellent opportunities by firing off target from promising positions.
But the deadlock was finally broken by the hosts in the 59th minute when Van Quyet got in behind the opposition defence and held the ball up just long enough until support arrived, before cutting a precise ball back for Pape Omar Faye to sweep into the bottom corner.
Five minutes later, Ceres shot themselves in the foot as they gave away possession outside their own area; Faye eventually firing away a shot that was deflected into the path of Van Quyet, who made no mistake in smashing an emphatic finish into the roof of the net.
The Busmen did pull one back with five minutes remaining when Stephan Schrock made his way down the left and played in a low cross that found substitute Curt Dizon, who did well to create space for himself with a nice spin before lashing a left-footed effort past Nguyen Van Cong.
Nonetheless, it proved to be too little too late for the 2017 ASEAN Zone champions as they failed to reach a third consecutive zonal final, which will instead now feature Hanoi FC and the victors of Wednesday’s tie between PSM Makassar and Becamex Binh Duong.
HANOI FC: Nguyen Van Cong, Tran Van Kien, Do Duy Manh, Nguyen Thanh Chung, Doan Van Hau, Moses Oloya (Hoang Vu Samson 73’), Do Hung Dung, Nguyen Quang Hai, Ngan Van Dai (Pham Thanh Luong 50’), Nguyen Van Quyet (Truong Van Thai Quy 83’), Pape Omar Faye.
CERES-NEGROS: Roland Muller, Sean Kane, Alvaro Silva, Manuel Herrera, Martin Steuble (Jeffrey Christiaens 15’), Miguel Tanton, Omid Nazari, OJ Porteria (Mahir Karic 65’), Stephan Schrock, Mike Ott, Bienvenido Maranon (Curt Dizon 79’).