Home United failed to progress to the AFC Cup Round of 16 on Wednesday despite claiming a 2-0 win over Persipura Jayapura in Group E.
Fazrul Nawaz fired the Protectors ahead at the Mandala Stadium after 15 minutes, before a long-range strike by Juma’at Jantan eight minutes later was enough to secure the three points.
Nonetheless, the win was not enough to seal a second-place finish for Home after they were pipped by Churchill Brothers, who also finished on ten points after a come-from-behind 2-1 win over New Radiant and advance due to a better head-to-head record.
Mohammad Umair had fired New Radiant ahead at the Galolhu National Stadium in the 40th minute, and things went from bad to worse for the visitors four minutes into the second half when Sanjay Balmuchu conceded a last-man foul on Ali Fasir inside the box and was shown his marching orders.
However, Umair was unable to make the most of the resultant spot-kick as he fired wide and the Maldives outfit then had a man of their own sent off in the 54th minute when Jonathan Quartey was shown a straight red for an off-the-ball incident.
With the momentum swung in their favour, Churchill duly went on to equalise four minutes after the hour mark; Warren Rebello playing a perfectly-weighted cross to the back post for Naveen Kumar to meet with a firm header into the bottom corner.
And three minutes later, the comeback was completed after Anthony Wolfe forced his way free down the left and into the area, before blasting a shot past a hapless Imran Mohamed to win it for the Indian side.
Over in Group F, Vietnam’s Ha Noi T&T wrapped up top spot following a 2-1 win over IndonesiaSuper League giants Arema Cronus.
It was Arema who broke the deadlock at the Hang Day Stadium after 15 minutes thanks to Cristian Gonzales’ fourth goal of the campaign, but the hosts equalised through a penalty from Nguyen Ngoc Duy in the 68th minute after Hoang Vu Samson had been upended inside the box.
15 minutes from time, Ngoc Duy popped up again to net his second of the evening and seal home advantage in the Round of 16 for Ha Noi.
Finally, although they had already been eliminated on the previous match-day, Selangor of Malaysia ended their campaign on a high as they cruised to a 4-1 win over Maldivian outfit Maziya at the Shah Alam Stadium.
Although Maziya took just nine minutes to edge ahead thanks to Abdulla Asadhulla’s opener, Paulo Rangel fired the Red Giants level in the 34th minute and added a second to put them ahead two minutes after the hour mark.
The Brazilian marksman then completed his hat-trick – his second of the campaign – in the 79th minute; pouncing on an awful back-pass by Mohamed Arif and coolly slotting past Mohmed Imran on his left foot.
And seven minutes from time, the rout was completed as Azmi Muslim lined up a freekick 30 yards out before sending a stunning curling effort into the top corner.
Wednesday’s AFC Cup Results
Persipura Jayapura 0-2 Home United
New Radiant 1-2 Churchill Brothers
Ha Noi T&T 2-1 Arema Cronus
Selangor 4-1 Maziya