BY ZULHILMI ZAINAL Follow on Twitter
Hà Nội FC stole one point from their AFC Cup encounter against Felda United FC at the Shah Alam Stadium on Tuesday, thanks to an injury time equaliser by Do Hung Dung. The home side's goal was earlier scored in the 23rd minute by Zah Rahan Krangar.
At the start of the match, the Fighters' new head coach, Bhaskaran R Sathianathan, leading the homeside in the AFC Cup for the first time, fielded all of his foreign players except for the underperforming forward Gaston Cellerino. Key members of the squad, captain Shukor Adan, winger Hadin Azman, midfielder Stuart Wark and forward Norshahrul Idlan Talaha were also picked at the start by the former Malaysia head coach.
Hà Nội manager Chu Đình Nghiêm meanwhile also fielded all but one of his foreigners, with Phi Minh Long as the goalkeeper, as well as Vietnam international Nguyen Van Quyet.
As the kickoff whistle was blown by referee Ahmed Faisal Mohammad Alali, heavy rain started to fall at the Shah Alam Stadium, slowing down the game.
Just as the rain died down in the 22nd minute, the home side opened the scoring. The waterlogged pitch caught the ball between the visitors' last man and goalkeeper Phí Minh Long to the right of their penalty box, but Liberian playmaker Krangar was the closest to it. He struck it first time over the custodian, and it went in to make the scoreline 1-0.
The heavy pitch made significant chances far and few in between, and the first half ended 1-0.
At the start of the second half, Ha Noi almost equalised. A corner kick from the right was met by a header by a striker, goalkeeper Farizal almost made a mess of it, but luckily a defender blocked the chance on the line and cleared the ball away.
Hong Dung tried a volley from outside the box in the 53rd minute, but his try went wide.
However, deep in injury time, the visitors finally found their equaliser. Do Hung Dung struck from inside the penalty area, and the ball struck the far post before going over the line.
It was Felda's first ever point in the competition, but for Ha Noi, it was their sixth straight draw in all competitions.
Felda : Farizal (GK), Shukor (C), Mootaz, Wan Amirul, Alif, Syahid, Wark, Zah Rahan, Hadin, Cano (Cellerino 73'), Norshahrul (Azriddin 85').
Ha Noi : Phi Minh (GK), Nguyen Dai Dong, Duy Manh, Sam, Van Kien (Văn Thái Quý 85'), Oloya, Thanh Luong (Quang Hải 73'), Hung Dung, Nguyen Van Quyet (Dui Long 81'), Marronkle (C), Arnaud.