Vietnamese league club Hanoi T&T have bowed out of the 2016 AFC Champions League after suffering an emphatic defeat against a Korean side in an away game on Tuesday.
Taking on heavyweights Pohang Steelers at Pohang Steel Yard, the Vietnamese visitors left stars Pham Van Quyet and Pham Thanh Luong at home, bringing to South Korea only 16 players in their play-off game against the hosts.
Pohang Steelers controlled the ball most of the match but they still found it difficult to break through the defensive wall of the visitors.
They failed to create any clear chance during the first 30 minutes.
Hanoi T&T nearly scored a goal following a personal effort by Nigerian-Vietnamese striker Hoang Vu Samson in the 21st minute.
His teammate failed to convert after Samson left two Pohang Steelers defenders behind and crossed the ball to the box.
The hosts opened the scoring in the 35th minute, as a pass from midfield found Dong Woon Sim, who dashed to lob the ball over Vietnamese goalie Tran Anh Duc.
Pohang Steelers netted two more goals in the second half, with Dong scoring a brace in the 62nd and 84th minutes, completing his hattrick in the game.
The hosts advanced to the group stage of the 2016 AFC Champions League, where they will encounter defending champions Guangzhou Evergrande of China, 2007 winners Urawa Reds of Japan and Australia’s Sydney FC.
“As we expected, Pohang proved themselves to be a tough team and it was a good game,” Hanoi coach Phan Thanh Hung, who had led his side past Hong Kong champions Kitchee with a 1-0 victory in last week’s Preliminary Stage 2, was quoted as saying on http://www.the-afc.com.
“We lost 3-0 but there are enough positives to take from this game. I am happy there we were able to play some good football and show a little of what we are about.”