Winning was all that mattered, says Oseni
Hanoi: Ganiyu Oseni has insisted that victory was the only thing on his mind after the 2019 AFC Cup’s joint-top scorer added another goal to his tally to help Hanoi FC claim a 2-0 victory over Tampines Rovers to the ASEAN Zonal semi-finals.
The Vietnamese side went into the game three points behind Tampines but, with a better goal difference, knowing a win would take them to the group’s summit. As it turned out, a draw or defeat would have seen them exit, with Tampines ultimately eliminated on the same number of points as Hanoi.
Going into the game on eight goals, Oseni scored from close in after just 10 minutes at Hang Day Stadium to calm any nerves, before Nguyen Thanh Chung doubled their advantage shortly after the half hour as Hanoi qualified for the knockout rounds for the first time since 2014.
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“[My goal] was early and anything could have happened but the most important thing was winning and I’m glad we won,” said Oseni, who scored for the third successive match in the Continental tournament.
“The coach told us before the game to respect the opponent and never look down on any team, but the aim was to win the game.”
With 23 goals in just six matches, Hanoi are the 2019 AFC Cup’s top scorers, yet found themselves in a must-win situation, largely due to 1-0 loss to Myanmar’s Yangon United in their last home fixture on Matchday Three.
10' GOAL! Hanoi FC score! 1-0! @TRFCStags are unable to deal properly with a setpiece which results in them going behind in this one. Ganiyu Oseni with the opener. #HANvTAM #AFCCup2019 pic.twitter.com/REAsUxi6bk— FOX Sports LIVE! (@FSAsiaLive) May 15, 2019
Nigerian Oseni netted four in Hanoi’s record-breaking opening-day 10-0 victory over Cambodia’s Naga World and the only game he has failed to register a goal was that defeat to Yangon, when he came off the bench with 30 minutes to play.
His early strike on Wednesday took him level on nine goals with Bienvenido Maranon of Ceres Negros, who Hanoi will next take on in the ASEAN Zonal semi-finals next month.
“Not really, like I said, I’m a team player, so the most important thing for me is when my team wins,” insisted the 27-year-old when asked if he is competing with Maranon for the top scorer accolade.
“I’m not really focused on my goals, I’m more concerned about my team winning but, nonetheless, I’m grateful to my teammates [for helping me score].
“[Against Ceres], we are going to do our best and also aim to win. They are a strong but we will work very hard and I think with determination and hard work, we should [have a chance]. Let’s be optimistic.”
FULL-TIME | Hanoi FC 🇻🇳 2-0 Tampines Rovers 🇸🇬— AFC Cup (@AFCCup) May 15, 2019
🥇 Hanoi leapfrog Tampines to win Group F and progress to the knockout stage!
The Singaporeans will need to wait for the result of Ceres Negros and Becamex Binh Duong to find out their AFC Cup 2019 fate!#HANvTAM #AFCCup2019 pic.twitter.com/CG1TxACWNH
Hanoi’s progression began a good night for Vietnamese football as their domestic rivals Becamex Binh Duong also secured qualification to the next phase following a dramatic late winner against Ceres, who had already sealed their place in the knockout stages.
“I’m very glad Vietnamese football is looking strong,” added Oseni. “I hope we help make it look stronger day by day.”
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