Ashgabat: Hanoi FC midfielder Moses Oloya is overjoyed at his side’s qualification for the 2019 AFC Cup Inter-Zone Final, declaring that the Vietnamese champions produced their best football in their successful second leg tie against Turkmenistan’s Altyn Asyr on Tuesday.
With a 3-2 aggregate lead under their belts from the first match of the two-legged tie, Hanoi navigated a first-ever trip to Ashgabat’s Kopetdag Stadium to emerge with a 5-4 aggregate win and set up a meeting with DPR Korea’s 4.25 SC.
A brace from captain Nguyen Van Quyet proved crucial for Chu Dinh Nghiem’s side, who advanced despite two successful penalty kicks from Altyn Asyr skipper Serdar Geldiyev.
See also :
Analysis: Resilient Hanoi pass tricky test
Hanoi FC seal Inter-Zone Final berth
4.25 SC through to second successive Inter-Zone final
While it was their first leg advantage that ultimately got them over the line, Oloya said Hanoi gave a performance to be proud of in the Turkmenistan capital, and hopes there is more to come.
“We qualified for the next stage of the AFC Cup,” the Ugandan international told the Turkmenportal news outlet.
“We really wanted to win today. Hanoi showed its best football, and now we have big goals going forward in this competition.”
Oloya, 26, has been a regular feature in Hanoi’s campaign, starting in seven matches and playing every minute in the heart of the midfield in their last three knockout stage fixtures.
The four-time V. League 1 champions had previously dealt with challenging away days in their 2019 AFC Cup run - both in the Philippines against Ceres Negros, and closer to home against Becamex Binh Duong - but the long trip to unfamiliar Central Asia was an entirely new challenge.
The way Hanoi responded to that challenge satisfied Oloya.
“Altyn Asyr showed good football and it wasn’t easy to play here as the away team,” he revealed.
“They had the support of all the fans, but we showed what we are capable of. It was difficult, but the most important thing is that we went to the next round.”
Meanwhile, disappointed Altyn Asyr head coach Yazguly Hojageldiyev said his side has little choice but look ahead to next year’s competition after their dream of reaching a successive AFC Cup Final was dashed.
Hojageldiyev, who made Turkmen football history by taking the club to last year’s decider, praised his side’s effort despite Tuesday’s narrow exit.
“I have no complaints against the players. They did everything they could, but as everyone saw, it didn’t happen for us,” said Hojageldiyev.
“Whenever a team loses, the coach is always to blame, but the coach is not a magician. I always want to win, but sometimes it goes your way and sometimes it doesn’t.
“Therefore, we will prepare for next year’s AFC Cup.”
Recommended Stories :
Inter-Zone SF 1st Leg: Abahani Limited Dhaka 4-3 4.25 SC
Inter-Zone SF 1st Leg: Hanoi FC 3-2 Altyn Asyr FC
AFC Cup 2019 Allianz Goal of the Week: Sohel Rana