AFC Cup 2019: Hanoi FC hit back to deny Ceres-Negros first-leg triumph

Gabriel Tan Gabriel Tan

There will be everything still to play for in a week’s time when Ceres-Negros and Hanoi FC meet again in the AFC Cup 2019 ASEAN Zone semi-finals after both sides played out a 1-1 draw in Tuesday’s first leg.

It was the Busmen who opened the scoring at the Panaad Park and Stadium courtesy of Bienvenido Maranon’s 57th-minute header, although Pape Omar Faye equalised ten minutes later to force the draw for Hanoi.

The result leaves the tie evenly poised ahead of next Tuesday’s return encounter at Hang Day Stadium, although Hanoi do have a potentially valuable away goal in their grasp now.

Highlights – Ceres Negros vs Hanoi FC

Yet, the scoreline could have been far bigger had both teams been able to capitalise on a host of chances they created, starting in the 6th minute when Faye’s lovely outside-foot pass released Nguyen Van Quyet but Roland Muller stuck out a strong foot to make a smart save.

Four minutes after the half-hour mark, it was Hanoi goalkeeper Nguyen Van Cong’s turn to be called into action, reacting well to keep out Maranon’s instinctive effort from a Sean Kane cross.

Faye then had a goal disallowed in the 52nd minute when he broke free after Nguyen Quang Hai threaded a pass through to him and emphatically finished, only to see it chalked off for offside.

Just seven minutes later, Ceres finally found the breakthrough as Stephan Schrock made his way down the right before floating an inch-perfect corss to the back post to find Maranon, who made no mistake in sending a stooping header into the bottom corner.

Almost immediately, Hanoi upped their intensity in a bid to get back into the contest and Doan Van Hau spurned an excellent chance four minutes after the hour mark as he fired into the side-netting on the rebound, after an initial snapshot from the edge of the box from Oseni was parried by Muller.

But Hanoi’s persistence eventually paid off in the 67th minute when Pham Thanh Luong was left completely unattended on the right-side of the area and picked out a pass to Faye, who kept his composure from close range to net what ultimately proved to be the goal that earned his side the draw.

CERES-NEGROS: Roland Muller, Sean Kane, Alvaro Silva, Manuel Herrera (Carli de Murga 60’), Martin Steuble, Omid Nazari, Miguel Tanton, OJ Porteria (Mahir Karic 78′), Stephan Schrock, Mike Ott (Curt Dizon 90+2’), Bienvenido Maranon.

HANOI FC: Nguyen Van Cong, Tran Van Kien, Do Duy Manh, Nguyen Thanh Chung, Doan Van Hau, Moses Oloya (Pham Thanh Luong 66’), Do Hung Dung, Nguyen Quang Hai, Pape Omar Faye (Ngan Van Dai 83’), Nguyen Quang Hai, Ganiyu Oseni (Hoang Vu Samson 74’).