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Damjanovic expects more AFC Champions League goals as he eyes record


Buriram: Dejan Damjanovic is refusing to rest on his laurels after pulling level with Lee Dong-gook at the top of the AFC Champions League’s all-time scoring charts on Thursday when he scored Kitchee SC’s second goal in their 2-0 win over Port FC.

The former Montenegro international claimed his 37th goal in the competition to confirm Kitchee’s win after Roberto had given his side the lead eight minutes before half time, and a confident Damjanovic is sure he will continue hitting the back of the net during the remaining Group J games.

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“We have six games, now five more and I’m expecting to score a few more,” said the 39-year-old former FC Seoul striker. “My job is to do that. My teammates trust in me and they are always supporting me.

“Some chances will come and you can expect a few goals. My priority is just to stay healthy and if I’m healthy everything will be OK. We’re going to continue surprising people in Asia.”

2021 AFC Champions League: Kitchee SC 2-0 Port FC

Damjanovic’s goal for Kitchee means he has now scored for four different clubs in the AFC Champions League and his strike rate is superior to that of his great rival Lee.

While the former Korea Republic striker scored his 37 goals in 74 games, Damjanovic – who has been on target for FC Seoul, Beijing FC and Suwon Samsung Bluewings in the competition – has hit the same number in six fewer matches.

“When I signed for Kitchee I said I was looking to compete in the AFC Champions League because I believe I can still do that,” said Damjanovic.

“I’m sure the Hong Kong champions are much better than everyone is thinking and I want to show everyone that they’re not speaking about us with any respect and they’re looking at us as really low level. So today I’m so happy that we were right.”

Kitchee claimed the three points despite a poor start to the game, with Thailand's Port FC hitting the woodwork twice in the first eight minutes before the Hong Kong Premier League champions found their rhythm.

“At the start of the game we made some big mistakes but we didn’t lose a goal and if you don’t score the goal first then it’s difficult,” said Kitchee coach Alex Chu Chi-kwong. “Our play was very disciplined in defence in the first half. We had one chance and we scored.”

Port FC coach Sarawut Treephan was left disconsolate after his side’s defeat, ruing the missed early chances from John Baggio and Bordin Phala, who both hit the crossbar.

“We played well but we couldn’t finish in the penalty area and we couldn’t prevent them from counter attacking,” said Sarawut. “We had good chances at the beginning of the game but we missed them so we have to raise ourselves to play the next game.

“We have two days to give our players the time to come back. We have to believe in our team.”

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