Vietnam’s Becamex Binh Duong defeated their Indonesian opponents PSM Makassar in the first leg of the 2019 AFC Cup ASEAN Zonal Semifinal on Wednesday, giving themselves an advantage ahead of the return game next week.
The hosts staged a pressing performance right after kick-off, launching high-ball attacks on the two flanks.
The Indonesian side played well in midfield but they failed to organize their offensive front.
Skipper Anh Duc took a free kick from distance in the 27th minute and went close to hitting the target.
The Vietnamese side continued to create pressure on the Indonesian club but Tan Tai could not quite get the final shot in the 43rd minute.
The visitors, who were invincible in the group stage, stood their ground and neutralized nearly all efforts by the home team at Go Dau Stadium in Thu Dau Mot City, Binh Duong Province.
Both sides did not create any clear chances in the first half, letting the game go goalless at the break.
Becamex Binh Duong were trying to find a goal when their defender Trung Tin was booked a second yellow card after a careless challenge in the 50th minute.
The hosts switched to defense-counterattack mode from that moment, allowing PSM Makassar to mount attacks on the woodwork of goalie Tran Duc Cuong.
However, the Indonesian side were too awkward to break the opposition defense.
Striker Nguyen Tien Linh was fielded to replace To Van Vu in the 75th minute. The substitute scored the winner five minutes later.
Midfielder Tan Tai curled a wonderful ball into the box and Linh headed home in the 80th minute.
The hosts missed another chance two minutes later, when they were awarded an indirect free kick in the penalty area.
Becamex Binh Duong will play the return game in Indonesia on June 26.
Earlier, another Vietnamese club, Hanoi FC, held hosts Ceres Negros FC to a 1-1 draw in the other ASEAN zonal semi in Bacolod, the Philippines on Tuesday.
Hanoi will take on the Philippine side in the return game on June 25.
The AFC Cup is Asia’s secondary club football tournament organized by the AFC for domestic clubs from AFC-affiliated countries that fall into the confederation’s ‘developing nations’ category.
Countries which have better infrastructure and football prowess are entered into the AFC Champions League.