Heavy defeat dims Da Nang's AFC Cup chances

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Vietnam's V-League 2009 champs Da Nang suffered a 0-3 away defeat to Bahrain's Al Riffa in the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Cup quarterfinal's first leg on Tuesday September 14.

Not having their best players in the squad and playing an away match against a superior team, Da Nang coach Le Huynh Duc had his players play defensively.

After a dangerous attack from Al Riffa, Da Nang settled down somewhat, displaying better skills. They produced two clear chances but Argentine striker Nicolas Hernandez and Thanh Hung failed to get the ball past custodian Al Mansoor.

Al Riffa were not very impressive, but against the run of play, they scored a goal 15 minutes after the break when midfielder Ahmed Alajmi fired a low shot past Da Nang goalkeeper Van Hanh.

The goal boosted Jose Rocha's players and they played with more gusto, but were unable to dent the Vietnamese defense further.

However, the visitors showed signs of exhaustion as the game was drawing to an end; and Al Riffa capitalized with two goals in the final minutes.

The heavy loss makes it very hard for Da Nang to book a berth in Asia's second-tier contest AFC Cup this year.

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