Hà Nội FC vs April 25 Sports Club in the second leg of the AFC Cup Inter-Zone final yesterday. The match ended 0-0. Photo North Korea Football Association.
HÀ NỘI Hà Nội FC missed out on reaching the AFC Cup final on away goals after a heartbreaking goalless draw against North Korea's April 25 Sports Club (4.25 SC) yesterday.
4.25 SC qualified for the showpiece final on away goals after the first leg finished in a 2-2 draw at Hàng Đẫy Stadium in Hà Nội last week.
The game was held at Kim Il-sung Stadium in Pyongyang.
Hà Nội were the first Vietnamese side to play in North Korea since a training session held by military side Thể Công in 1968.
With the support of fans at home, 4.25 SC, East Zonal winners, controlled the game from the beginning.
Coach Chu Đình Nghiêm’s players struggled to hold onto the ball and launch attacks on the artificial turf.
In the 21st minute, midfielder Nguyễn Quang Hải made a mistake and allowed a 4.25 SC player a sight on goal, but his effort went over the bar.
Hải then completed a skillful move to pass the ball to striker Pape Omar Faye but the Senegalese forward couldn’t find the net.
Minutes later, Faye received a yellow card for a foul.
In the last minute of first half, Hà Nội won a free-kick just outside the penalty area. Star midfielder Hải stepped up, but was unable to beat goalie An Tae-song.
After the break, the hosts pushed on seeking the opener.
Just three minutes in, 4.25 SC got a corner kick but couldn’t break the solid defence of Hà Nội.
As the game wore on, coach Nghiêm threw striker Papa Ibou Kebe on in an attempt to get a crucial goal.
Hà Nội dominated the closing stages of the game and created many chances, but were unable to find the net, ending their hopes of a historic treble.
4.25 SC will face Lebanon's Al Ahed FC in the AFC Cup final on November 2. VNS