Ho Chi Minh City FC will compete in the second-tier 2020 AFC Cup after losing 1-2 to hosts Buriram United FC in the preliminary round of the AFC Champions League on Tuesday.
The Vietnamese club will play Singapore’s Hougang United, Laos’ Lao Toyota, and the winners in the play-off between Brunei’s Indera and Myanmar’s Yangon United in Group F of the AFC Cup, which will last from February 20 to November 7.
Buriram United FC were the favorites in the game at Chang Arena in Buriram, Thailand, despite their main striker Supachai Jaided put on the bench due to injury.
The Thai side have had years of experience in competing in the AFC Champions League while their Vietnamese opponents played it for the first time.
But Ho Chi Minh City FC seemed to have more chances in the first half, with Tran Phi Son taking advantage of a Buriram United FC defender’s error to test goalie Siwarak in the 21sth minute.
Son’s attempt was in vain as he was a little slow, allowing another defender of the hosts to correct his teammate’s mistake.
Ho Chi Minh City FC continued their threats with a free kick by Ngo Hoang Thinh hitting the bar 29 minutes into the game.
However, the hosts dominated after the break because the visitors had lost the mid-field and both of their wings appeared powerless.
Star striker Nguyen Cong Phuong was so lonely on the offensive front as a result.
Buriram United FC netted in the 52nd minute following a cross from the right flank.
Buriram United FC's first goal
Ricardo Bueno doubled the lead on 72 minutes, shooting home the rebound from a corner kick.
Buriram United FC's second goal
The Vietnamese side narrowed the gap in the 77th minute, thanks to Pape Diakite’s header from a curvy pass by Tran Phi Son on the right.
Ho Chi Minh City FC's goal
Buriram United FC will encounter Chinese Super League side Shanghai SIPG in the second qualifying play-off round in Shanghai, China on January 28.