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Hanoi eliminates Ceres Negros in AFC Cup

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By Kevin Estrada

Making the best of their confines in Hang Day, Hanoi advanced to the AFC Cup ASEAN Zone final after knocking out Ceres-Negros Tuesday evening with a 2-1 win in the Vietnamese capital.

With an away goal they took from Bacolod last week, a five minute stretch in the second half gave the hosts enough breathing space to withstand the attacks of the reigning PFL champions, with the tie finished at 3-2 on aggregate.

Hanoi made a drastic chance on their side with Ganiyu Oseni saw his season and career in the Vietnamese capital came into an abrupt end, with first-leg substitute Ngan Van Dai taking his spot that moved Papa Omar Faye up front.

With Van Dai in the midfield, Hanoi played the aggressor as they netted several chances that twice went wide on the left post of Roland Muller, before the shot-stopper had his first save in the first half added time.

Ceres skipper Martin Steuble only lasted for a quarter of an hour after getting a knock on his right leg after a collision with his teammate Super, as well as getting the book on the opening exchanges after fouling Van Dai hard.

The goalless first half, gave Ceres a glimmer of hope to nick one in the second half but their backline forgot the memo and Hanoi made them pay with their miscues, as well as the boost brought in by veteran Pham Thanh Luong who came on as a 50th minute sub.

Hanoi’s persistence bore fruit a minute before the hour mark, with Nguyen Van Quyet got a free pass into the box after escaping the offside trap of Alvaro Silva and Super Herrera to cut the ball back to Pape Omar Faye, who made no mistake with his right foot to score for the second successive match to send the home support into raptures.

Five minutes later, the Vietnamese international turned into a goalscorer to double their lead on a rebound Faye’s initial shot from just outside the six-yard box

It was the product of Hanoi’s press on the Busmen from way back with Schrocky, now wearing the armband, made the howler that kickstarted their downfall.

Although Curt Dizon pulled one back with five minutes left, they could not add another one to go through on the away goals, with the final two strikes by Silva and Miguel Tanton sealed their fate in the competition.

With the Busmen now out of the picture, an all-Vietnamese final are highly possible, with their league champions got through, as Becamex Binh Duong held a slim 1-0 over Indonesia’s PSM Makassar ahead of their return tie in Bogor tomorrow.

Hanoi (4-1-3-2): Van Cong (GK), Van Hau, Oloya, Van Quyet, Van Kien, Thanh Chung, Quang Hai, Faye, Du Manh, Van Dai (Thanh Luong 50′), Hung Dung
Ceres-Negros (4-2-3-1): Muller (GK), Kane, Super, Mike Ott, Maranon (Dizon 79′), Tanton, Porteria (Karic 67′), Schrock, Alvaro Silva, Nazari, Steuble (C) (Christiaens 15′)