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Becamex Bing Duong set up all-Vietnamese ASEAN Zonal Final

Bogor: Becamex Bing Duong progressed to what will be an all-Vietnamese 2019 AFC ASEAN Zonal Final as they overcame Indonesia’s PSM Makassar on the away goals rule following a 2-2 aggregate draw.

Leading 1-0 from last week’s first leg, Binh Duong performed admirably throughout Wednesday's return fixture, as Wander Luiz’s fifth goal of the campaign in a 2-1 defeat ultimately helped set up a showdown with domestic rivals Hanoi FC who had beaten Ceres Negros FC a day earlier.

A second-half own goal and an Aaron Evans effort briefly gave Makassar a glimmer of hope, but it counted for nothing in the end as the Continental debutants bowed out following an impressive campaign.

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Binh Duong, AFC Cup semi-finalists in 2009, began the game brightly in Bogor, as first Nguyen Tien Linh whipped a close-range shot narrowly past the upright from Le Tan Tai’s third minute corner, and then Brazilian forward Wander Luiz scuffed an effort when well placed.

Needing a goal to drag themselves back into the tie, Makassar responded well to the initial Binh Duong threat when Wiljan Pluim, having been found by Rizky Pellu, curled a delightful effort inches over Tran Duc Cuong’s bar on 14 minutes.

Rizky then failed to find the target with a flying header from Pluim’s pinpoint free-kick in the 23rd minute, before Binh Duong midfielder Nguyen Tien Linh dragged his shot wide of the target with only goalkeeper Rivki Mokodompit to beat.

Binh Duong were not to be denied though, and they duly broke the deadlock deep into first-half stoppage time, Wander Luiz powering a header home at the far post to put his side ahead and double their lead on aggregate.

Left with a mountain to climb, it was to be Makassar who threatened first after the break, Finnish striker Eero Markkanen failing to test Duc Cong with a brace of headers as the Indonesians pressed for the goals they so desperately needed.

Their hopes of a sensational recovery were duly raised in the 75th minute as a piece of calamitous defending from Ho Tan Tai saw the defender head Zulham Zamrun’s cross into his own net.

Yet more drama was to come with three minutes of normal time remaining, Aaron Evans steering home a shot to put Makassar within a goal of going through.

It was not to be though as, after Rivki had denied Victor Mansaray a second for Binh Duong, the visitors held firm to see out what little time left and ensure their progress.

With a place in the Inter-Zone Semi-finals available to the winners, the ASEAN Zonal Final is scheduled to take place over two legs on July 31 and August 7.

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