Matchday Three - Group H: Song Lam Nghe An 0-0 Persija Jakarta
Vinh: Song Lam Nghe An FC and Persija Jakarta shared the points in their AFC Cup Group H tie following a goalless draw at Vinh Stadium on Tuesday.
The result sees the Vietnamese side retain their place at the top of the standings as they achieved their third clean-sheet in succession, although their achievements were somewhat dampened by the sending off of midfielder Ho Sy Sam.
In front of a noisy crowd of over 10,000 fans, Vava Yagalo had the first effort on goal for the visitors on five minutes, with Rezaldi Hehanusa also having a brace of shots from range on target.
But as the half wore on, Song Lam Nghe An began to take control with Ho Tuan Tai and Ho Khac Ngoc attempting to score from distance before Persija goalkeeper Andritany Ardhiyasa gave away an opening just before the half hour after he was penalised for a six-second violation.
Although Song Lam Nghe An were unable to profit from the set-piece, just seven minutes after the restart Ho Tuan Tuai had a golden chance to open the scoring for the hosts, but the No 10 blazed his shot narrowly over when through on goal.
Ho Tuan Tuai then had a second chance shortly after when he beat the offside trap to collect Michael Olaha’ sublime chipped pass, but Persija goalkeeper Ardhiyasa was quick off his line to push the ball away at the feet of the striker.
And the home side’s frustration at the lack of an opener despite the lion’s share of play was further deepened, just after the hour mark, when midfielder Ho Sy Sam was dismissed for a second bookable offence and they were forced to play out the remainder of the match with 10 men.
The two sides will renew acquaintances next week in what is sure to be a passionate encounter at a heaving Gelora Bung Karno Stadium.