ASEAN Zonal SF 1st Leg: Becamex Binh Duong 1-0 PSM Makassar
Thu Dau Mot: 10-man Becamex Binh Duong made a winning start in their AFC Cup ASEAN Zonal semi-final tie against Indonesia’s PSM Makassar, earning a 1-0 in the first leg on Wednesday.
Nguyen Tien Linh scored 10 minutes from time to ensure the Vietnamese side will take a slender lead into the second leg in Indonesia next Wednesday.
The win was achieved despite Nguyen Thanh Son’s side being a player down for much of the second half after Nguyen Trun Tin was sent off.
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Unbeaten in the group stage, PSM Makassar travelled to Vietnam for the first ever AFC Cup meeting between the sides but, with progression in the competition at stake, there was little time to get to know each other.
It was the hosts doing the most to introduce themselves in the early stages, with PSM Makassar goalkeeper Rivky Mokodompit forced into action early before Nguyen Anh Duc missed the target from a direct free-kick just before the half hour mark.
In a relatively even first 45 minutes, Becamex Binh Duong continued to look the team most likely to break the deadlock, but they failed to test Mokodompit with their best chance of the half, when Le Tan Tai’s shot blocked after the midfielder found himself in a great position in the 43rd minute.
The two sides traded attempts at goal in the early minutes of the second half, before Becamex Binh Duong were reduced to 10 men in the 50th minute, when Nguyen Trung Tin was given his marching orders for a second bookable offence by Indian referee Rowan Arumughan.
Despite their numerical disadvantage, the hosts continued their search for an opening goal, and they were inches away from being awarded a penalty when the dangerous Wander Luiz was brought down just outside the penalty area by Abdul Rahman, but the resulting free-kick produced nothing to threaten Mokodompit’s net.
Becamex Binh Duong’s reward was a long time coming, but it finally materialised in the 80th minute, when substitute Nguyen Tien Linh timed his run perfectly to reach Tan Tai’s cross and head the ball into the bottom right corner to break the deadlock.
The hosts had an immediate opportunity to double the lead when Mokodompit conceded an indirect free-kick in his own penalty area after picking up an Aaron Evans back-pass, but Ali Rabo’s subsequent shot at goal flew low and wide to keep PSM Makassar within touching distance ahead of the second leg.
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