AFC Cup 2019: 5 talking points as Becamex Binh Duong beat PSM Makassar 1-0 in ASEAN Zonal Semifinal first leg

Becamex binh duong

Becamex Binh Duong recorded an important 1-0 win over PSM Makassar in the first leg of the ASEAN Zonal Semifinal of AFC Cup 2019 at the  Go Dau Stadium in Vietnam on Wednesday.

The Vietnamese outfit were down to 10 men at the start of the second half, but managed to find the winning goal through substitute Nguyen Tien Linh with 10 minutes left to play leaving PSM with a mountain to climb in the second leg.

Here, FOX Sports Asia takes a look at the five key talking points from the ASEAN Zonal Semifinal…

1) PSM top scorer only good enough for bench!

AFC Cup 2019: Kaya FC 0-2 PSM Makassar (Eero Markkanen 24′)

It is safe to say that it was Eero Markkanen’s goal that helped PSM Makassar book a place in the ASEAN Zonal Semifinals of the AFC Cup as the best third-placed side. However, PSM’s Swiss coach Darije Kalezic pulled off a surprise when he decided to give the prolific Finnish goalscorer, who scored five goals in six group stage matches, only a place in the substitutes’ bench in the first leg. Instead, Cameroon-born Guy Junior started as the lone striker with captain Wiljan Pluim, the former Vitesse Arnhem attacking midfielder, behind him to provide support in attack. Binh Duong, meanwhile, had veteran Vietnam international Nguyen Anh Duc and Brazilian Wander Luiz leading their line.

2) Scrappy first half at the Go Dau Stadium 

If the benching of Markkanen wasn’t proof enough for the fact that PSM had travelled to Vietnam with avoiding defeat as their main objective, the first half action left no doubts in the viewers’ minds that the two teams were adopting a conservative lifestyle. The first 45 minutes were largely stop-start with both teams showing little initiative under the scorching sun. The pace picked up in the later stages of the half, but chances were still far and few between. The spectators had to wait until the 43rd minute for a major opportunity to pop up and it was the visitors who managed to go close through Le Tan Tai. The fact that both teams had zero attempt on target at half time summed up the action in the first period.

3) Trung Tin’s moment of madness! 

The second half began dramatically as Becamex Binh Duong went down to 10 men five minutes in. It was Nguyen Trung Tin, making his debut in the AFC Cup, who saw his second yellow card of the day and put his team in a position of huge disadvantage. It all began with a throw in taken by Trung Tin in the 50th minute shortly before the Vietnamese defender launched into a ‘Kung Fu-style’ lunge on to PSM Makassar’s Rasyid Bakri leaving the Indonesian on the floor rolling in pain. The referee had no choice but to produce a second yellow card with Binh Duong having to play more than 40 minutes of the game with a player less.

4) Tien Linh stuns the Indonesians! 

AFC Cup 2019: Becamex Bình Dương 1-0 PSM Makassar – Nguyễn Tiến Linh (80’)

Though handicapped by that red card to one of their players, it was Binh Duong who went on to score that all-important goal. Tan Tai floated in a delivery into the box in the 80th minute and substitute Nguyen Tien Linh escaped his defender and got a head on the ball to make it 1-0 in favour of the home side. PSM, who were hoping to make use of their numerical advantage, were stunned and almost conceded another when the referee awarded an indirect free kick against them inside the box couple of minutes later. However, there was no further damage as Binh Duong failed to create something out of the promising situation.

5) Good day at the office for Binh Duong 

PSM came into the game with the intention of avoiding a defeat, but they leave with a mountain to climb in the second leg. The Indonesia Liga 1 side will have to overturn a 1-0 deficit at the Pakansari Stadium on June 26 and will be kicking themselves after failing to find an away goal despite playing against a 10-man Becamex for almost a full half. Meanwhile, Becamex, who would have been happy to settle for a scoreless draw when they went down to 10 men, will be delighted with themselves for finding a winning goal against the odds!