Asia AFC Champions League

Pham Tuan Hai Carries Hanoi to Historic Win

Hanoi FC made history on Wednesday by winning their first AFC Champions League game, with the Vietnamese champions coming from behind to edge out Chinese champions Wuhan Three Towns 2-1 at the My Dinh National Stadium, with Pham Tuan Hai scoring a brace that ensured all three points for the Capital Team.

The win did not came easy for Hanoi as Wuhan took the lead after just ten minutes. He Chao received a smart flick from Abdulaziz Yakubu at the edge of the box, and the midfielder proceeded to drive the ball into the far corner of Bui Tan Truong’s goal.

Five minutes later, Yakubu came close to creating his own moment of celebration. Outpacing Damien Le Tallec, he unleashed a left-footed strike across the goal, only for Tan Truong to palm the incoming threat away. Despite continued chances, including an excellent ball from Davidson that resulted in a blocked shot inside the box, Yakubu couldn’t find the back of the net.

Hanoi’s best opportunity in the first half came when Le Van Xuan received a quick free-kick from Nguyen Van Quyet, but his shot was deflected, narrowly missing the post.

Yakubu had another near miss just before halftime. Gao Zhunyi’s skillful back heel set up Jiang Zhipeng down the left channel, delivering a ball across the face of the goal to Yakubu, who couldn’t convert from six yards.

Although Hanoi dominated early in the second half, they failed to test Liu Dianzuo in the Wuhan goal. Despite making attacking changes, Hanoi struggled to breach the hosts’ defense.

Substitute Do Hung Dung had the first significant opportunity in the second half, but his volley from the edge of the area went wide.

At the 70-minute mark, Hanoi equalized as Tuan Hai’s header from the edge of the penalty area caught Liu off guard, leveling the score.

Wuhan found themselves down to ten men three minutes later when Wei Shihao was sent off for kicking out at Pham Xuan Manh during a tussle for the ball.

In the dying minutes of the match, Hanoi completed the comeback. Tuan Hai’s second goal involved nimble footwork inside the box, as he twisted and turned before slotting the ball home, leaving Liu helpless and notching history for the Capital Team – their first win in the AFC Champions League group stages.