Thanh Hoa denied by Bali United in stalemate

Gabriel Tan Gabriel Tan

FLC Thanh Hoa were failed in their bid to climb into second place in AFC Cup Group G on Tuesday after playing out a 0-0 draw with Bali United.

In what proved to be a real battle of attrition at the My Dinh National Stadium, neither side were able to gain a stranglehold despite the prize of second spot up for grabs.

Nonetheless, it was the Vietnamese hosts that created the better openings as they tried to exact revenge on Bali for last week’s 3-1 defeat.

The Indonesian outfit did carve out the first real chance in the 23rd minute, when Ilija Spasojevic met Stefano Lilipaly’s right-wing cross with a firm header that forced Bui Tien Dung into a smart save.

Immediately after the restart, Edward Ofere then had an excellent opportunity to open the scoring for Thanh Hoa after being set up by Nguyen Trong Hoang, only to be denied by Wawan Hendrawa from point-blank range.

In the end, neither side were just able to find the breakthrough, leaving the qualification situation in Group G evenly poised with two rounds remaining.

FLC THANH HOA: Bui Tien Dung, Tran Dinh Dong, Nguyen Van Bakel, Nguyen Minh Tung (Le Van Dai 46’), Nguyen Xuan Thanh (Mai Tien Thanh 73’), Ngo Hoang Thinh, Ryutaro Karube, Nguyen Trong Hoang (Le Van Thang 85’), Pape Omar Faye, Vu Minh Tuan, Edward Ofere.

BALI UNITED: Wawan Hendrawan, I Made Andhika Wijaya, Demerson, Ahn Byung-keon, Ricky Fajrin, Nick van der Velden, Fadil Sausu (Muhammad Taufiq 83’), Kevin Brands (Miftahul Hamdi 57’), Irfan Bachdim (I Nyoman Sukarja 86’), Stefano Lilipaly, Ilija Spasojevic.