Asia AFC Champions League

Wuhan Three Towns Squeak Past 9-Men Hanoi

Reigning Chinese Super League champions Wuhan Three Towns were made to work hard for their 2-1 home win over Vietnamese champions Hanoi FC in Tuesday’s AFC Champions League match, despite the latter ending the match with just nine men and suffering a 4th minute red card.

Joel Tagueu was the unfortunate recipient of the early red card as Hanoi’s new Cameroonian attacker was given his marching orders after a dangerous high boot, with his dismissal disrupting whatever game plan that caretaker head coach Le Duc Tuan had for the Capital Team at that time.

However, despite this early setback, Hanoi actually kept their defenses shut throughout almost the entirety of the first half against a very dominant Wuhan side, with young goalkeeper Quan Van Chuan impressing between the sticks.

The crowd at the Wuhan Sports Center were given the goal that they’ve been waiting for right at the stroke of half-time. Wei Shihao blasted a header towards the Hanoi goal, but despite Van Chuan pulling off an impressive double save to deny the China international, third time was the charm for the former Guangzhou FC winger as he hooked the ball home to give the hosts the lead.

Wuhan, who went from being mere upstarts in the third division to the champions of China in only three years, went 2-0 up in the 63rd minute. Once again it was Shihao who showed off his talents, laying off a cross for substitute Marcao to head home past Van Chuan.

Pulling off a valiant performance despite playing almost the entirety of the match with just ten men, Hanoi clawed one back in the 87th minute, with Pham Tuan Hai breaking through the Wuhan defenses and slotting the ball past Liu Dianzhuo in the Wuhan goal.

However, any chances of an unlikely Hanoi comeback was dashed in the third minute of injury-time, after the Capital Team were further crippled by the dismissal of Dao Van Nam following a second yellow card, ensuring that Hanoi would finish the match with just nine men.

Tuesday’s AFC Champions League matches hasn’t been kind to Southeast Asia’s representatives, as Thailand’s BG Pathum United suffered a 4-2 home defeat at the hands of Japanese giants Kawasaki Frontale and Malaysia’s Johor Darul Ta’zim succumbing to a 3-1 defeat away at South Korean powerhouses Ulsan Hyundai.