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MD1: Melbourne Victory 0-4 Incheon Hyundai Steel Red Angels

Yongin: Tournament hosts Incheon Hyundai Steel Red Angels made an emphatic start to their AFC Women’s Club Championship campaign, powering to a 4-0 win over Australia’s Melbourne Victory on Tuesday.

The WK League champions found the back of the net twice in each half, with Lee Sea-eun – who bagged two goals in as many minutes just before the hour mark – leading the scoring on a night where Kim Dam-bi and Thais Guedes also left their mark on the final tally.

The win means the Red Angels finish Matchday One on top of the table, while Melbourne Victory sit at the bottom as the only team not to collect a point on the opening day.

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There were moments of promise at either end of the pitch, and little sign of the one-sided match that would emerge, in an even-handed opening 20 minutes.

The hosts had the game’s first genuine chance when Jang Sel-gi, playing higher up the pitch than her usual full-back role for the Korean national team, outpaced Teigen Allen before firing an effort across goal in the 10th minute, but a thumping angled drive from Natasha Dowie forced a handy save from Kim Min-jung shortly after as Melbourne Victory issued a goal threat of their own.

The Australian side looked to be well and truly in the contest at that point, but the Red Angels found their breakthrough goal in the 24th minute, with Kim Dam-bi slipping the ball under Casey Dumont to score from close range after a superb reverse pass from captain Jung Seol-bin, with Jang also involved in the build-up.

Jung was at the fore once again for the second goal, which came nine minutes later, supplying the looping cross for Thais Guedes’ close range-tap in despite the best efforts of Dumont, with the move owing plenty to a penetrating run and pass from Lee Young-ju.

Victory’s focus quickly shifted to stemming the tide, and they succeeded in reaching half-time without further damage, but failed to make inroads after it, with Dumont producing a strong save to deny Jung after another flowing Red Angels move in the 55th minute.

But the Red Angels were too polished to be denied much longer, and they went three goals clear after a superb Lee Sea-eun free-kick in the 57th minute, with Victory’s resistance was further broken when some slack defending saw Lee rifle home her second goal just a minute later to extend the lead to 4-0.

There was a nearly a fifth when Lee So-dam lashed a shot into the side-netting, while Victory's chance of a late consolation was denied when Kim Min-jung produced a terrific save to deny Grace Maher in injury time.

With three points secured, Red Angels will next meet Japan’s Nippon TV Beleza on Thursday, while Melbourne Victory will try to revive their campaign against Chinese champions Jiangsu Suning.

Jong Song-chon: Incheon Hyundai Steel Red Angels head coach

“The first match is always a difficult one, but our players gave it their all for the entire 90 minutes and I’m very satisfied with today’s performance. We also have no injured players, so I’m very satisfied overall. I’m aware that Melbourne Victory is a very strong team in Australia, but maybe they’re suffering a bit from their travel. Even so, they were a very strong opponent.”

Jeff Hopkins: Melbourne Victory head coach

“We’re obviously pretty disappointed. I thought we started the game quite well in the first 20 or 25 minutes. We were definitely in the game, creating chances, but after that for a number of reasons I think we didn’t deal well with the pressure on the ball. We started to turn balls over and once we conceded we were in trouble. It’s disappointing, but we’ve got a game in a couple of days and we’ll put this behind us and look forward to the next game.”

Photos: Korea Football Association

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