|Nguyen Van Quyet (right) scored the only goal in Hanoi’s 1-0 win over Bangkok United on February 12. (Source: the-afc.com)
Striker Ganiyu Bolayi Oseni was fouled in the box in the 87th minute of the match at the Thammasat Stadium.
V. League 1 champions Hanoi FC was awarded a penalty and Quyet scored with a straight shot to the left corner of goalkeeper Michael Falkesgaard.
Earlier, Oseni, Do Duy Manh and Papa Omar Faye also tested Falkesgaard but the Danish-Filipino goalie saved their shots with ease.
Bangkok United dominated the second half but could not capitalise on their chances with Tristan Do and Nelson Bonilla both failing to find the target.
The victory was a first step for Hanoi FC to secure a berth in the final round of the continent’s top tournament.
"This target shows our big ambition to access the higher-level competition. It is not easy as we can see the poor results of Vietnamese clubs when participating here in the past. However, we are given a target we will do our best," said head coach Chu Dinh Nghiem.
To prepare properly, Nghiem and his team just enjoyed the Lunar New Year celebrations for two days and returned to training last week.
This is the fifth year the team have entered the qualifiers of the contest. They have yet to advance to the group phase of the competition, slipping out in the playoffs in 2014, 2015 2016 and 2017.
Hanoi FC are through to the playoffs and will face Chinese Super League club Shandong Luneng on February 19.