AFC Cup 2019: Becamex Binh Duong hold Persija Jakarta for a goalless draw

Indonesian champions Persija Jakarta were forced to share a point with Vietnam’s Becamex Binh Duong in their opening AFC Cup 2019 encounter at the Gelora Bung Karno Stadium.

Despite being without Marko Simic, the home side were heavy favourites going into the encounter. The Croatian’s replacement Silvio Escobar made his debut for the club after joining them four days ago.

Though the home side started the match slowly, it seemed as if they had started to hit their stride midway through the first half after the Vietnam side’s goal was disallowed for offside.  There were calls for a penalty as well on the 20-minute mark but those were waved away by the referee.

Soon after, Ismed Sofyan rifled one from long distance but that missed the post by some distance. But Becamex soon overturned what seemed a period of dominance for Persija, and threatened the home side on the counter as Ho Sy Giap came close to opening the scoring.

The second half followed more or less a similar pattern as the first as both the sides failed to carve any clear cut chances for themselves and get away with all three points from the match. The match’s best opportunities perhaps fell the away side’s way as Victor Mansaray squandered two late opportunities to steal all three points.

For the hosts, Novri Setiawan and Riko Simanjuntak were guilty of missing second-half chances as the match finished goalless. All in all, the Vietnam side would be the happier of two teams going home with a point from this encounter.

The second match of the group will be played between Ceres Negros and Shan United later today.