Song Lam Nghe An (SLNA) suffered their first loss in this season’s AFC Cup after losing 1-0 to Persija Jakarta on Wednesday match.
The visitors traveled to Jakarta with only 16 players in the squad, since most of the marquee players rested for domestic competition V-League.
On the opposite site, Persija applied the pressure on their opponents in the opening stages but struggled to create any clear-cut chances.
Riko Simanjuntak was on the verge of breaking the deadlock for Persija just before halftime, however, his finish was ruled out since Marko Simic was adjudged to have been offside.
SLNA goalkeeper Le Quang Dai then rescued a loss for his side as he denied a left-foot effort of substitute Addison Alves from inside the box.
As the time was closed to running out, Persija finally succeeded in snatching a goal when Addison produced an astounding volley into the far corner three minutes into the added time to win it for Persija
The win moves Persija above SLNA in Group H with the courtesy of a superior head-to-head record. In the next match, the Indonesian side will host Malaysia’s Johor Darul Ta’zim, when the Vietnamese team will play Singapore’s Tampines Rovers at home.
Speaking in the post-match press conference, SLNA coach Nguyen Duc Thang said he was not disappointed with this result.
“We did not bring our best squad to prepare for this match, not because we underestimated our opponent, but we have to focus on the upcoming game at V-League. The players must maintain their best physical condition,” Thang said, as quoted by Bongda24h.
“We tried our best but the result was not fair. I hope the players can show their best in the next games.”