Vietnam’s Hanoi FC booked a place in the 2019 AFC ASEAN Zonal Final following their thrilling victory over the Philippines’ Ceres-Negros FC on home soil on Tuesday.
Hanoi will take on either their compatriots Becamex Binh Duong or Indonesian side PSM Makassar, who will clash in the other semi in West Java on Wednesday.
The Vietnamese and Philippine clubs drew 1-1 in the zonal semifinal in Bacolod one week ago so Hanoi were at an advantage before the return game at Hang Day Stadium on the away-goal rule.
Goals scored by Pape Omar Faye and Nguyen Van Quyet helped their team progress to the zonal final, following their defeating the Philippine visitors 3-2 on aggregate.
Hanoi dominated the game in the first half, missing at least three chances.
Hung Dung finished wide in the box in the 17th minute, just two minutes after Jeffrey Christiaens came off the Ceres-Negros bench to replace injured leftback Martin Steuble.
Forward Ngan Van Dai fired barely over the bar from the right flank on 29 minutes. Then captain Nguyen Van Quyet shot wide from yards away in the 41st minute.
The home side continued to press forward after the break, with left-footed veteran Pham Thanh Luong fielded for Ngan Van Dai five minutes into the second half.
Shortly after that, skipper Van Quyet beat the offside trap and his cross from the right found Pape Omar Faye, who quickly shot home to put Hanoi in the lead in the 59th minute.
Five minutes later, Quyet himself netted his club’s second goal thanks to the visitors’ awkward defensive efforts. The captain finished home from close range following maneuvers by two of his teammates who had taken the ball from the sloppy Ceres-Negros defenders.
Ceres-Negros played harder to hope to find a goal before thinking of a comeback. They nearly found the Hanoi net in the 79th minute, when Mike Ott’s long-range shot got barely wide.
The guests did manage to snatch back one goal six minutes later.
Stephan Schröck dribbled down the left and crossed the ball to left winger Curt Jordan Dizon, who clinically beat Hanoi’s custodian Nguyen Van Cong from inside the box.
The visitors would have advanced if they had scored another goal.
But their efforts were eventually in vain, missing at least two golden opportunities in the dying minutes.
The zonal final will be played on a home-and-away basis in July and August.