Kebe: We’re not satisfied with the draw
Hanoi: Papa Ibou Kebe has admitted that Hanoi FC were disappointed to only manage a 2-2 draw against DPR Korea’s 4.25 SC in the first leg of the 2019 AFC Cup Inter-Zone Final at Hang Day Stadium on Wednesday.
After the hosts had fallen behind to Rim Chol-min's close-range finish in the 19th minute, Kebe teed up Hanoi captain Nguyen Van Quyet for his seventh goal of the campaign, before the Frenchman put his side in front shortly before the half hour with his first AFC Cup goal.
But after the Vietnamese side had missed a number of second-half opportunities, they were caught out by a late sucker punch when Kim Yu-song’s strike from distance was too good for substitute goalkeeper Bui Tien Dung as the visitors secured a 2-2 draw.
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“I’m happy that I scored the goal but not so happy because we drew and we wanted to win the game; however, 2-2 is an okay result,” admitted Kebe.
“At the beginning, it was a little bit difficult because we didn’t know how they play, so when you play against a team that you don’t know, it’s tough because you have to adapt.
“They scored so we had to come from behind but we were able to do so. We knew it would be a tough game and we gave our best and, although 2-2 is not the result we wanted, it’s okay. We have the second game, we have to be strong and come back.”
With Hanoi having been crowned V.League champions less than a week ago, the 2019 AFC Cup marks the second of three trophies they are competing for this year, with Chu Dinh Nghiem’s side also in the Vietnamese Cup semi-finals.
In the build-up to the game, the players had emphasised how important the competition was to them, with a squad replete with young talent determined to become the first club side from Vietnam to taste Continental glory.
And while conceding twice at home ahead of a tricky second leg leaves them with an uphill task in the return meeting in Pyongyang, they can take heart from the fact that Altyn Asyr left the Vietnamese capital with two goals in the previous round only for Hanoi to secure the result they needed in Turkmenistan.
FULL-TIME | Hanoi FC 🇻🇳 2-2 4.25 SC 🇰🇵— AFC Cup (@AFCCup) September 25, 2019
👏 What a dramatic end to the 1st leg of the Inter-Zone Final! April 25 SC scored a late equalizer and are heading home with 2 away goals!
#HANv425 #AFCCup2019 pic.twitter.com/OCDMDoZWNf
“The coach told us after the game that we now have to stay focused, recover well and train well, and that he will prepare for the second leg," said Kebe.
“We need to score and we have to win because it will be difficult to get through with a draw. But we’ll go there to win, not look for a draw.
“We want to create history and I think we will continue in the tournament.”
😃 “I’m happy I scored but not so happy we drew.” 😔— AFC Cup (@AFCCup) September 25, 2019
Hanoi FC's Papa Ibou Kebe reflects on a night of mixed fortunes after a 2-2 1⃣st leg draw with 🇰🇵’s 4.25 SC.#AFCCup2019 | Inter-Zone Final pic.twitter.com/mzGuxIgLMM
Signed from Slovenian side Tabor Sezana in July, Kebe has been thrust into the Hanoi line-up at the business end of the 2019 campaign.
The 29-year-old has settled in well, though, having netted twice in the league and picked up a championship-winning medal.
“I feel good in Vietnam. I needed to adapt fast because there wasn’t much time,” added Kebe. “Today I made one assist and scored, so I try to help the team as much as I can.”
Photo: Hanoi FC
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