Ryoichi Maeda’s double helped FC Tokyo get through to the last 16 of the AFC Champions League after a 2-1 victory over Vietnam’s Becamex Binh Duong in Group E on Wednesday.
Desperate for a win to secure a place in the knockout stage, Tokyo took the lead in the 20th minute at Go Dau Stadium. Maeda then had his second goal with a fine strike 10 minutes into the second half.
In the 68th minute, Le Cong Vinh’s penalty after Yuichi Maruyama brought down Cameroonian striker Nsi Amougou Christian gave the host some hope before he struck the bar and did not succeed in two later attempts.
“It was a really tough game today, especially because we had to win. So I’m happy with the result and to reach the next round," said Tokyo coach Hiroshi Jofuku. "The players were tired because of the hot weather, so they could not perform at 100 percent."
“Binh Duong played quite well today, but our players kept their concentration to secure victory.”
h Duong coach Nguyen Thanh Son said that it was a real pity that Cong Vinh did not have a goal.
“Tokyo didn’t play so well because of the hot weather and I think we deserved a draw, but that’s football. We have improved a lot this season so I believe that we will be even better next year.”
Tokyo has claimed the runner-up spot in Group E with 10 points.
In the other group match, South Korea’s Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors held Jiangsu FC with a 2-2 draw to notch the group’s leading position and forced the Chinese team out of the league.
Becamex Binh Duong's Cong Vinh attempts to score a goal in an AFC Champions League match with FC Tokyo in Binh Duong on May 4, 2016. Photo: Doc Lap/Thanh Nien