Persipura oust champions; Ha Noi, Ninh Binh eliminated

Persipura Jayapura claimed a stunning 6-1 win over defending champions Kuwait SC on Tuesday to beat them 8-4 on aggregate in their AFC Cup quarter-final clash.

Entering their game at the Mandala Stadium trailing 3-2 on aggregate, the hosts got off to a dream start as Robertino Pugliara put them in front after just two minutes when he turned Bio Paulin’s knock-down into the back of the net with a scissor kick.

Two minutes before halftime, the Indonesian Super League giants doubled their lead when Boaz Solossa scored with a fine individual effort; bursting through two defenders before sending a 35-yard strike past Musab Al Kandari.

And in injury-time at the end of the first half, they edged further ahead when Titus Bonai slipped a neat ball through to the unmarked Pugliara for him to grab his second of the game.

Despite their comfortable lead, Persipura refused to rest on their laurels and added a fourth in the 52nd minute as Bonai netted on the rebound after the far post after Solossa’s initial effort had been saved by Al Kandari.

Kuwait did manage to pull one back five minutes after the hour mark when Reza Ghoochannejhad headed home a Fahad Alenazi cross, only for Pugliara to complete his hat-trick a minute later and restore his side’s five-goal cushion.

The visitors’ afternoon got worse in the 69th minute when Fahad Hamoud was shown a second yellow after kicking opposition keeper Yoo Jae-hoon in the stomach in a 50-50 challenge, and Yohanes Pahabol went on to round off the scoring for the Black Pearl right at the death when he broke free down the right and slotted past Al Kandari.

Persipura’s opponents in the semi-finals will be Kuwaiti side Al Qadsia, who came from two goals down to hold Bahrain’s Al Hidd to a 2-2 draw at the Bahrain National Stadium, which proved enough to see them advance on the away goals rule following a 3-3 draw on aggregate.

V.League 1 outfit Ha Noi T&T’s hopes of overturning a one-goal deficit failed to be realised after a 2-0 defeat to Iraqi giants Erbil saw them bow out with a 3-0 aggregate loss.

Following a goalless first half at the Saida International Stadium, Amjad Radhi broke the deadlock for Erbil in the 57th minute from the penalty spot, after Nguyen Van Bien had handled the ball inside the area.

Two minutes from time, the hosts went on to make sure of the win as Halgurd Mulla Mohammed exchanged a one-two with Luay Salah and broke into the box before slotting past Nguyen Van Cong.

Ha Noi’s fellow Vietnamese representatives XM The Vissai Ninh Binh were also eliminated 4-3 on aggregate despite a 1-0 win over Kitchee of Hong Kong at the Mong Kok Stadium.

The only goal of the game came in the 28th minute when Abdullahi Suleiman netted at the third time of asking, after Le Van Thang and Nguyen Duc Linh had been denied by Wang Zhenpeng and the woodwork respectively.

Nonetheless, any hopes the visitors had of forcing extra-time were effectively ended in injury-time when Sim Woon-sub was sent off for a second bookable offence, allowing Kitchee to hold out and advance to the last four.

Tuesday’s AFC Cup Quarter-final Second Leg Results

Persipura Jayapura 6-1 Kuwait SC (8-4 on aggregate)

Kitchee 0-1 XM The Vissai Ninh Binh (4-3 on aggregate)

Al Hidd 2-2 Al Qadsia (3-3 on aggregate; Al Qadsia on away goals)

Erbil 2-0 Ha Noi T&T (3-0 on aggregate)

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