Kuala Lumpur City, a club from Malaysia make history advanced to the final round of the zone after winning Viettel, a club from Vietnam by penalty shoot-out with a score of 6-5 after tied in 120 minutes 0-0 in the AFC Cup 2022 ASEAN Zone semi-final at Thong Nhat Stadium, Ho Chi Minh City.
The loss was hard on the Vietnamese side, who had dictated the tempo throughout a tense encounter at the Thong Nhat Stadium in Ho Chi Minh City, dominating in midfield but rarely finding a way through the well-organised and disciplined Kuala Lumpur City defence.
Nguyen Duc Hoang Minh had a 14th minute sight of goal only to direct his weak header wide under pressure from Declan Lambert while Tran Ngoc Son squandered his side’s best chance of the half just before the half hour mark.
The striker was found unmarked in the penalty area by Nguyen Hoang Duc’s right-sided cross and, although Ngoc Son did well to control the ball, he fired his effort well over the bar.
Neither effort forced Kuala Lumpur goalkeeper Azri into a save and it was at the other end that Tran Nguyen Manh was called into action, palming Paulo Josue’s dipping and swerving free kick from 30 yards away to safety in the 33rd minute.
A slow-burning second half eventually came to life with 16 minutes remaining when substitute Nham Manh Dung stung the hands of Azri from 25 yards with well-struck left foot drive that the keeper did well to push to safety.
Nguyen Manh was then called into action at the other end, pushing Romel Morales’ header onto the bar before Duy Thuong nodded over the Kuala Lumpur crossbar with his first touch of the game.
Manh Dung went close again with four minutes remaining of regulation time, bending his shot on the turn just wide of Azri’s right post.
The tension increased further as the game entered extra-time with Ryan Lambert almost breaking the deadlock two minutes into the second period when he slalomed through the Viettel defence, only to see Nguyen Manh push his right foot shot to safety.
Duy Thuong curled another effort wide and Manh Dung headed agonisingly wide as the end of the additional 30 minutes approached to take the game into a shoot-out and from where Kuala Lumpur emerged triumphant.
Credit Photo : AFC