Group G: Persija Jakarta 0-0 Becamex Binh Duong
Jakarta: Persija Jakarta survived a late onslaught from Becamex Binh Duong as the Group G rivals settled for a 0-0 draw on Matchday One of the 2019 AFC Cup on Tuesday.
The Indonesian champions had chances of their own before the Vietnamese side piled on the pressure in the late stages but failed to find the winning goal.
After a lively but scrappy start to the game, Persija’s Bruno Matos had the fans on their feet with some sublime skill taking him past a few challenges but the move came to nothing.
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The visitors had the ball in the net after 18 minutes when Maman Abdurrahman headed into his own goal trying to clear from a set-piece but there had been an offside flag before the ball reached him.
Persija finally threatened in the 29th minute when Heri Susanto cut inside from the left but his shot from a narrow angle was easily gathered by Bui Tan Truong.
Becamex responded minutes later when Ho Sy Giap made space inside the penalty area but his shot flew over the bar.
The home side struggled to create chances before Matos fired in a powerful low strike from distance five minutes from half-time but Tan Truong saved comfortably again.
Just after the hour mark, Riko Simanjuntak seized on a deep cross from the right, took a shot from a very tight angle and found the side netting. Minutes later, another Persija shot hit the side netting as substitute Novri Setiawan fired wide.
Becamex began to take control and came very close to taking the lead in the 70th minute as Victor Mansaray’s through ball put Nguyen Anh Tai through on goal. Andritany Ardhiyasa was off his line quickly to save brilliantly.
Nguyen Anh Duc then cut in from the left and curled an effort wide and Mansaray failed to get clean contact on an excellent heading opportunity from close range as the Vietnamese side finished strongly.
Becamex will hope for all three points when they host Ceres-Negros on Matchday Two while Persija travel to Myanmar to face Shan United on March 12.