Hoang Anh Gia Lai end Champions League campaign with home win hinh anh 1Washington Brandao's powerful flick was all HAGL needed to shock Sydney FC. (Photo: HAGL Football Club)

Ho Chi Minh City (VNS/VNA) — Hoang Anh Gia Lai Football Club ended their AFC Champions League journey with a 1-0 win against Sydney FC, with Brazilian striker Washington Brandao scoring the only goal of the match.

This is the first win for a Vietnamese club in 18 years at Asia’s top club competition, and helped Vietnam overtaking China in the AFC rankings.

After an underwhelming loss at the hands of Yokohama F. Marinos on Thursday, Coach Kiatisuk Senamuang switched to a 4-4-2 formation, benching Luong Xuan Truong and starting creative midfielder Nguyen Tuan Anh instead.

Already out of the competition, both teams went for all-out attack from the first minutes.

Many chances came for the home side in the form of corners, where Vu Van Thanh and Brandao posed a real danger at the waterlogged Thong Nhat Stadium.

Focusing on attack, HAGL almost conceded in the 25th minute when a counter attack from Sydney FC found an unmarked Adam Le Fondre. The former Reading striker, however, could not capitalise on the opportunity.

Le Fondre and his teammates would soon kick themselves for the missed opportunity, when fourteen minutes later, great play from HAGL led to a goal.

A long-range pass from Nguyen Cong Phuong found Tran Minh Vuong, who made a great one-two play with Nguyen Van Toan.

Vuong's cross inside the box was blocked by a Sydney FC defender, but the rebound went to Brandao, whose flick went into the top corner./.