Hanoi: Thanh Hoa of Vietnam and Indonesia’s Bali United played out a 0-0 draw in Group G of the AFC Cup at My Dinh Stadium on Tuesday as second-placed Bali remained a point clear of Thanh Hoa in the standings.
After an even opening to the game, Bali had the first chance of note midway through the first half when Stefano Lilipaly’s cross was headed goalwards by Ilija Spasojevic, but goalkeeper Bui Tien Dung reacted well to parry to safety.
The hosts had a chance of their own on the half hour when Ngyuen Trong Huang struck from 25 yards out but ‘keeper Wawan Hendrawan was equal to the challenge.
Bali’s Kevin Brands did well to create space for himself on the edge of the area eight minutes before the interval, only to fire over when he should have done better as the sides went in goalless.
Edward Ofare had a gilt-edged chance to put the hosts one up shortly after the restart but shot at Hendrawan from just a few yards out after being teed up by Trong Huang, before the striker volleyed straight at the custodian again just minutes later.
Pape Omar Faye then fired against the side netting as the hour approached and saw his volley well saved soon after as Thanh Hoa put the visitors under sustained pressure in search of the first goal.
Spasojevic’s effort from distance flew just over as Bali showed they remained a threat as the game entered its final 10 minutes, but that was the last of the goalmouth action.
Bali will next face group leaders Yangon United in Myanmar in four weeks’ time, while third-placed Thanh Hoa travel to the Philippines to take on Global Cebu, with Yangon now firm favourites to advance to the knockout rounds as group winners.