After a 3-2 victory in the semi-final first leg at Hanoi’s Hang Day Stadium a week ago, Hanoi FC were full of confidence when they travelled to Turkmenistan to face Altyn Asyr in the second leg.
Despite the disadvantage of having to play in the hot weather, the Vietnamese champions suddenly broke the deadlock with Van Quyet’s goal in the 15th minute. The Hanoi’s captain finished from close range after the hosts failed to clear Ngan Van Dai’s cross from the right wing.
Van Quyet (No. 10) in action during Hanoi’s 2019 AFC Cup inter-zone semi-final second leg against hosts Altyn Asyr on Tuesday night. (Photo: AFC)
Coach Chu Dinh Nghiem’s side were forced to play counter-attacks under huge pressure from the hosts.
The Turkmenistan champions finally found their equaliser on the stroke of halftime; Serdar Geldiyew scored from the spot kick after the hosts were granted a penalty following a foul by Hanoi’s defender Van Dung to Resul Hojayew inside the box. Captain Geldiyew, no. 25, easily beat keeper Van Cong to level 1-1 for Altyn Asyr.
However, it was Van Quyet again who restored Hanoi’s lead just six minutes after the break. From a quick attack, Ngan Van Dai’s intelligent headed pass found Van Quyet and the 1991-born striker delivered a header above the stranded Mammet Orazmuhammedov into the net, extending Hanoi’s aggregate lead to 5-3.
Hanoi’s keeper Van Cong in action during their 2019 AFC Cup inter-zone semi-final second leg against hosts Altyn Asyr on Tuesday night. (Photo: AFC)
Facing a mountain to climb, Altyn Asyr sped up and put Van Cong’s goal under threat. Captain Geldiyew missed a golden change as he blasted a volley over the crossbar with 10 minutes remaining, however, the hosts once again levelled thanks to a second successful penalty kick in the 82nd minute. Mehail Titov was hauled down before Geldiyev converted from the spot once more to make it 2-2.
Titov forced Van Cong into a superb save just a minute later, but Hanoi held on to make history as the first ASEAN side to progress into the inter-zone final. They will face either Bangladesh's Abahani Limited Dhaka or DPR Korea’s 4.25 SC in the last meeting of the 2019 AFC Cup. Hosts 4.25 SC will go into the second leg of their semi-final against Abahani Limited Dhaka on Wednesday with the aim to rebound from a 4-3 loss in the first leg.