Felda United will be kicking themselves tonight after they conceded a late goal to draw 1-1 against Hanoi FC at the Shah Alam Stadium this evening.
The Fighters went into this game looking to clinch their first ever AFC Cup win, but heavy rain meant that the game ended up being very sloppy in the first 15 minutes or so. On the 27th minute though, Zah Rahan broke the deadlock with an outstanding effort, completely catching Hanoi goalkeeper Minh Long off guard.
Hanoi continued to press high up the pitch and pushed for an equalizer. Van Quyet’s attempt on the 39th minute was saved comfortably by Farizal while Hung Dung’s half-volley, seven minutes into the second half, went wide off target.
B. Sathianathan’s men desperately held on to their slender lead but just when it looked like they were on the verge of stealing a win, Hung Dung curled a fantastic shot into the back of the net in injury time to make it 1-1 and leave Felda frustrated.
Meanwhile, JDT were also victims of a late goal in Myanmar, but they would arguably be more content with the result, given that they played a large portion of the match with 10-man.
Benjamin Mora opted to rotate his entire squad for this fixture, giving the likes of Gopinathan, S. Chanturu, Shakir Shaari and even Brian Ferreira a spot in the starting eleven – a decision that didn’t look too good in the opening 10 minutes as Magwe dominated proceedings.
On the 12th minute, things got worse as Hasbullah Awang was shown a straight red card for a reckless challenge. But while the odds of a Magwe win started getting slashed instantly, JDT broke the deadlock merely seven minutes later, against the run of play. Brian Ferreira showed tremendous vision to find Chanturu, who squared it for Gopinathan inside Magwe’s penalty box. The former Selangor man made no mistakes by firing him to make it 1-0.
Magee attempted to mount a comeback in the second half, and they did have their fair share of chances, especially in the first 15 minutes of the second half. But as Mora began to introduce the likes of Safiq Rahim and Gabi Guerra, the Southern Tigers started looking far more assured on the ball.
However, the home side’s relentless efforts were eventually rewarded on the 88th minute as Magwe’s Cameroonian hitman Sylla Sekou levelled the score with a well taken goal, forcing JDT to drop two valuable points at the Thuwunna Stadium.