Ashgabat: Moses Oloya believes that Hanoi FC cannot sit back on their one-goal lead against Altyn Asyr as the sides get set to meet for the second leg of their 2019 AFC Cup Inter-Zone semi-final at Kopetdag Stadium on Tuesday.
The Vietnamese team ran out 3-2 winners in last week’s first leg and will advance to the Inter-Zone Final if they avoid defeat in Turkmenistan, but should the hosts score in Ashgabat then Hanoi will also need to find the back of the net in a tie that remains firmly in the balance.
While victory at Hang Day Stadium ensured Hanoi start the second leg with the advantage, a tally of 33 shots on goal to seven across the 90 minutes is evidence that they could have taken a much healthier lead to Central Asia.
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“We were disappointed to only win by one goal, it was not the best result as we could have won 3-0,” admitted Ugandan international Oloya.
“That’s the game, we can’t do anything about it now. We need to go there, work hard and play hard so we can get the win or draw that we need.
“The two goals we conceded will affect us but we need to make sure we don’t concede. However, we have to attack because you can’t defend for 90 minutes. We need to defend and attack well.”
An early Altyn Asyr goal in Hanoi set the tone for a dramatic contest, with the hosts going 2-1 up through Nguyen Quang Hai’s brace before the Turkmen team levelled proceedings once more.
Shots rained in on the Altyn Asyr goal throughout with Oloya denied his first goal of the campaign when Mekan Saparov made a last-ditch clearance off the line.
The victory finally came through Nguyen Van Quyet’s late penalty but Hanoi will likely face a more attacking outfit in Ashgabat, where Altyn Asyr’s last AFC Cup defeat came in May 2016.
“They play really good football so we need to be fully focused against them because they are so strong,” said Oloya.
“They are together – they defend well and attack with a lot of speed so we know we need to work very hard when we play against them.”
Now with his third club in Vietnam, Oloya arrived in Southeast Asia in 2011 when he joined the now defunct Xuan Thanh Sai Gon before winning a number of trophies with Becamex Binh Duong, who Hanoi eliminated in the previous round.
Following a short spell in Russia, the Ugandan headed east again to team up with Hanoi in 2017 and a year later he won the 2018 V.League with a side full of promising young talent.
The capital city club are again top of their domestic championship and, should they overcome Altyn Asyr, will remain in the hunt for their first Continental title.
“For Hanoi to qualify for the next round would be great for the team and it would create history for Vietnamese football,” added Oloya.
“I’ve played in Vietnam for many years, with a number of clubs, and the reason this team is so good is because they are young and have stayed together since the academy.”
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