Cibinong: Vietnam’s Becamex Binh Duong take a slender one-goal advantage into the second leg of the ASEAN Zonal semi-final against Indonesia’s PSM Makassar at Pakansari Stadium on Wednesday.
After being reduced to 10 men early in the second half following Nguyen Trung Tin's dismissal, Nguyen Tien Linh netted the only goal of the game in the first leg in Thu Dau Mot City to ensure Binh Duong begin the return meeting in the driving seat.
But there remains all to play for ahead of the decisive second leg as both teams aim to reach the ASEAN Zonal final for the first time in their history.
See also :
ASEAN Zonal SF 1st Leg: Becamex Binh Duong 1-0 PSM Makassar
ASEAN Zonal SF 2nd Leg - Preview: Hanoi FC (1) v Ceres Negros (1)
Analysis: 10-man Binh Duong stun off-colour Makassar
In their debut AFC Cup campaign, Makassar advanced through the group stage with their unbeaten record intact, winning four and drawing two of their matches.
At their home base in Cibinong, the Liga 1 side have scored 11 goals in just three games, while in finishing top of Group H they also eliminated the 2018 ASEAN Zonal champions Home United of Singapore.
But the defeat against Binh Duong last week was the first time Makassar failed to find the back of the net across 90 minutes and they will hope the likely return of top scorer Eero Markkanen, who was brought on as a late substitute in Vietnam, can help them rediscover their scoring touch.
Elsewhere, the likes of Wiljan Pluim and Marc Klok will be expected to supply the ammunition for the Finnish striker as the Indonesian team attempt to score the goals needed – while also keeping it tight at the back – to progress to the ASEAN Zonal final.
Becamex Binh Duong
Binh Duong secured just one point from their opening two AFC Cup games but have won each of their five matches since and are the form team in the competition.
Confidence is high within the Binh Duong ranks, as shown last week when despite their man disadvantage, the V.League team were not only able to prevent Makassar scoring an away goal but also able to snatch a late winner.
On their last visit to Indonesia, Binh Duong came away with a scoreless draw against Persija Jakarta and, if a defence martialed by Burkina Faso’s Ali Rabo – but without the suspended Trung Tin – can achieve another shutout, they will seal their place in the next round.
At the other end, captain Nguyen Anh Duc has the ability to trouble opposition backlines with his physical presence while the creativity of midfielder Le Tan Tai could be key in finding an away goal that would leave the hosts needing to score three.
Ones To Watch:
PSM Makassar (IDN) vs Becamex Binh Duong (VIE)
Venue: Pakansari Stadium, Cibinong
Kick-off: June 26, 16:00 UTC+7
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