Shah Alam: A first-half hat-trick by Brazilian striker Paulo Rangel gave Selangor a comfortable 3-1 victory over Hanoi T&T on Tuesday as the Malaysian side picked up their first win in Group F of the AFC Cup and prevented the Vietnamese champions from clinching a spot in the Round of 16.
Paulo Rangel (Paulo Rangel do Nascimento Gomes) headed the home side ahead at the Shah Alam Stadium after 21 minutes, fired in his second 11 minutes later and then completed his treble two minutes before half-time after Gonzalo Marronkle had cut the deficit for the visitors with a penalty.
Selangor’s win saw them move up to five points, four adrift of T&T and two behind Arema Indonesia, who beat Maldives side Maziya 3-2 on Tuesday.
"I am happy that we scored three goals. I am not happy with so many yellow cards,” said Selangor coach Mehmet Durakovic, who was delighted with the result but disappointed by the lack of discipline shown by his players, who received seven yellow cards in total in the match.
“We could have scored more. The players were positive. We played attacking football. It takes time but I’m confident we will get there soon. It's a young team who have enthusiasm and work hard for each other.
“The whole team played very well and this Selangor team is the team for the future.”
Hanoi, who had taken maximum points from their first three games and needed just a draw to advance to the Knockout Stage, began brightly with Hughton Hector and Gonzalo Marronkle both missing early chances.
Those misses would prove costly in the 21st minute when Paulo Rangel jumped highest in the Hanoi box to meet S.Veenod’s free-kick from the right with a towering header that looped over the head of goalkeeper Duong Hong Son into the far corner of the net.
The Red Giants continued to look for more goals and their efforts paid off in the 32nd minute when Abdul Hadi Yahaya received the ball from S. Kunanlan's cross and squared it to Rangel, and the lone striker made no mistake slotting home his second goal.
Hanoi T&T pushed forward right after the restart and earned a penalty when Selangor captain Mohamed Bunyamin Umar fouled Nguyen Van Quyet in the box. Bunyamin received a yellow card and Gonzalo made no mistake from the spot to give the Vietnamese side the lead.
However Selangor would not settle for that score line and Paulo Rangel found himself clear in the box once again and put the ball into the same side of the net for a third time to complete his hat-trick in the 42nd minute.
Neither side was able to add to the scoreline in the second half with Samson Olaley and Hector missing the best chances for the visitors as Selangor held on to keep alive their hopes of reaching the knockout stage.
"Of course the result is not good for us. We could have converted a few chances but we didn't do it. I am happy with the team performance but sadly we did not score enough goal," said Hanoi T&T Coach Phan Thanh Hung.
"It was not easy to penetrate the Selangor defence. Not only the back four but the whole Selangor team did very well to stop us. We struggled a little bit."