HAGL lose 2-1 in AFC Champions League return

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Hoàng Anh Gia Lai players celebrate their goal at the AFC Champions League in the 2-1 loss to Yokohama F. Marinos on April 16 in HCM City. Photo the-afc.com

HCM CITY — Hoàng Anh Gia Lai (HAGL) have been beaten by Yokohama F. Marinos in their opening game of the Asia Champions League.

Just five minutes in, HAGL had a glorious opportunity to take the lead but Văn Thanh’s effort hit the post.

Yokohama gradually regained a strong hold in the game and began to dominate possession. In the 19th minute, from the corner of the right wing, Brazilian striker Leo Ceara took a swipe at the ball and it nestled in the corner, giving the visitors a 1-0 lead.

Ceara doubled the lead shortly after, heading home from a free kick on the edge of the penalty area.

HAGL hit back in the first half, and their pressure paid off on the 31st minute when after good pressure from the home team, Yokohama’s captain Kida headed into his own net to offer hope to HAGL.

After the break, Yokohama continued to press, Ceara hit the bar just three minutes after the restart. In the 67th minute, HAGL keeper Tuấn Anh saved at close range to keep the score at 2-1.

Marcos Junior of Yokohama missed a glorious opportunity to put the visitors ahead as the minutes ticked away.

It may be a home defeat, but with a second leg looming, HAGL still have all to play for. VNS

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