Hanoi FC miss maiden AFC Cup final after goalless draw against 4.25 SC

Wednesday, 2019-10-02 17:36:25
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Hanoi FC midfielder Pham Duc Huy (C) in action with a 4.25 SC player during their match at Kim Il-sung Stadium in Pyongyang on October 2. (Photo: DPR Korea Football Association)
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NDO – Reigning V.League champions Hanoi FC missed out on a place in the 2019 AFC Cup final after being held to a goalless away draw by DPR Korea’s 4.25 SC in the second leg of the inter-zone play-off final on October 2.

* Wasteful Hanoi forced to 2-2 draw with 4.25 SC

With the two teams having played out a 2-2 tie in the first leg a week ago, it was the Korean side who made it through to the title match thanks to the away-goal rule.

Hanoi FC headed into the clash at Pyongyang’s Kim Il-sung Stadium with a fierce determination knowing that they would need a win or achieve at least a 3-3 draw in order to qualify for their first AFC Cup final in history.

However, inspired by a formidable home record and two away goals in the bag, 4.25 SC started the game confidently and threatened to score several times with two attempts going over the crossbar, including a free-kick in the 22nd minute and a close-range header 15 minutes later.

Hanoi FC and 4.25 SC players in action during the match.

The hosts’ constant pressure made it difficult for Hanoi FC to deploy any penetrating attacks. Chu Dinh Nghiem’s side had a chance to open the scoring shortly before half-time, but Quang Hai’s free-kick was unexpectedly stopped by the 4.25 SC keeper.

The second half saw Hanoi FC push hard for an opener; however, Van Quyet and Pape Omar could not capitalise on their opportunities to get on the scoresheet.

The 0-0 draw remained unchanged until the final whistle, which sent the DPR Korea side through to the 2019 AFC Cup final thanks to the away-goal rule.

Despite failing to secure a historic place in the title match, Hanoi FC still made domestic fans proud by advancing so far in the AFC Cup arena.