Indonesian Premier League outfit Arema FC successfully qualified for the next stage of the AFC Cup after a stunning 6-2 victory over Vietnam Cup champions Navibank Saigon on Tuesday at Gajayana Stadium.
Five first-half goals shared by Talaohu Abdul Musafri, Roman Chmelo and Ahmad Amiruddin had Singo Edan cruising before Edison Fonseca and Nguyen Quang Hai cut the deficit for the visitors in the second half.
However, the sixth goal from Arema which was netted by Amiruddin 10 minutes before full-time ended the Vietnamese club’s hopes of reaching the last 16.
Singo Edan's Serbian head tactician Dejan Antonic expressed his happiness after the triumph and thanked the players and Aremania supporters.
"I am very happy because this performance was not only for us because we are representatives of Indonesia in the AFC Cup," Antonic told reporters.
"I appreciate what the players have done in the past two games, they never surrendered. I must thank the players and thanks our Aremania supporters."
Meanwhile Navibank coach Pham Cong Loc congratulated Arema on the victory.
"Arema played very well and scored many goals in the first half, we played better in the second half and got two goals back when the Arema players were tiring," he explained. "But although we tried hard, they got the last goal that ended our hopes."
By this result, three teams ended their AFC Cup group campaign in Group H with seven points, but Arema qualified for the next stage as runner-up after leading on head-to-head results over Navibank Saigon and Ayeyawady United which lost 1-0 to Kelantan FA.
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