Matchday Three - Group G: Bali United 3-1 Thanh Hoa
Bali: Bali United staged an impressive second half comeback to beat Group G rivals Thanh Hoa 3-1 and earn their first win of the 2018 AFC Cup campaign on Wednesday.
The away side were handed the opportunity to open the scoring in the 14th minute after a foul by Demerson on Ryutaro Karube resulted in a penalty. But Pape Omar Faye’s spot-kick was well saved by Wawan Hendrawan.
Five minutes later, Thanh Hoa came close again when a corner kick came off Demerson and rebounded back off his own crossbar.
It was no surprise when the Vietnamese side took the lead with a fine strike in the 29th minute. After they were awarded a free kick 20 yards from goal, Karube curled the ball into the top corner.
Just before half-time, Nguyen Trong Hoang fired in a powerful long-range shot that Hendrawan pushed wide.
But the hosts took the upper hand in the second half and levelled in the 66th minute through Yabes Roni. Nick van der Velden flighted the ball over the top and the substitute controlled the ball on his chest before prodding it past the advancing Tran Buu Ngoc and into the Thanh Hoa goal.
And Bali didn’t have long to wait for the second as Demerson headed home from Fadhil Sausu’s corner in the 72nd minute.
Incredibly, the home side went further ahead three minutes later. A free kick from van der Velden caught out the Thanh Hoa defence and Stefano Lilipaly latched onto the ball and lobbed it over Buu Ngoc to make it 3-1.
Bali United have edged one point ahead of Thanh Hoa in Group G and the Vietnamese side will be determined to take revenge when they face Bali on home turf next Tuesday.