Popovic: Perth Glory deserved more against FC Tokyo
Tokyo: Perth Glory head coach Tony Popovic was buoyed by the performance of his side in their first-ever game in the AFC Champions League on Tuesday despite seeing them slip to a narrow 1-0 loss at the hands of FC Tokyo.
Leandro’s strike from distance eight minutes from time was all that separated the teams in the Group F clash at Tokyo Stadium, with Perth unfortunate not to leave the Japanese capital with a point.
Group F - MD2: FC Tokyo (JPN) 1-0 Perth Glory (AUS)
Tokyo: Brazilian midfielder Leandro struck eight minutes from time to earn FC Tokyo a barely-deserved 1-0 win over Perth Glory at Tokyo Stadium on Tuesday as the Australian side slipped to a heartbreaking late loss on their AFC Champions League debut.
Leandro’s strike curled past Liam Reddy to give Kenta Hasegawa’s side all three points to add to their opening day draw with Group F rivals Ulsan Hyundai on Matchday One, while Perth were left to travel home with nothing to show for their efforts against the 2019 J.League runners-up.
Group E - MD2: FC Seoul (KOR) 1-0 Melbourne Victory (AUS)
Seoul: Korea Republic's FC Seoul got their AFC Champions League Group E campaign off to a winning start, edging Australia’s Melbourne Victory 1-0 thanks to an early strike from veteran forward Park Chu-young on Tuesday.
Making their return to the Continent’s top competition a week later than expected after a three-year absence, Choi Yong-soo’s charges prevailed in a 90-minute arm-wrestle, outlasting the visitors at a bitterly cold Seoul World Cup Stadium.
Seoul’s win sees them join Victory, who began their campaign last Tuesday, on three points, putting the 2013 runners-up on track for what would be a first knockout stage appearance since 2016.
Group E - MD2: Chiangrai United (THA) 0-1 Beijing FC (CHN)
Chiang Rai: Beijing FC made a winning start to their 2020 AFC Champions League campaign on Tuesday as Wang Zimin’s goal midway through the first half gave the Chinese Super League side a 1-0 win over Chiangrai United.
Wang calmly slotted his 23rd minute effort past home goalkeeper Apirak Worawong to earn Beijing all three points in their opening game in Group E to join FC Seoul and Melbourne Victory at the top of the early standings.
Preview MD2 - Group G: Suwon Samsung Bluewings (KOR) vs Vissel Kobe (JPN)
Suwon: After the biggest win of Matchday One, Japan's Vissel Kobe travel to Suwon World Cup Stadium and a meeting on Wednesday with Suwon Samsung Bluewings of Korea Republic.
It was a dream debut for Vissel Kobe last week as an Andres Iniesta-inspired performance saw the J.League side enjoy a 5-1 victory over Malaysian champions Johor Darul Ta'zim.
A trip to Suwon may prove a bigger test, however. The Korean side are two-time Continental champions, having won the Asian Club Championship back-to-back in 2000-01 and 2001-02, and were AFC Champions League semi-finalists as recently as 2018.
Preview MD2 - Group H: Yokohama F. Marinos (JPN) vs Sydney FC (AUS)
Yokohama: Yokohama F. Marinos get set to host their first AFC Champions League tie since 2014 when they welcome A-League leaders Sydney FC to Yokohama International Stadium on Wednesday.
This will be the first ever game between Yokohama and Sydney in the AFC Champions League, but with former Socceroos coach Ange Postecoglou at the helm of the J.League side it won't entirely be a case of unfamiliar foes.
Suwon: Yeom Ki-hun believes Suwon Samsung Bluewings striker Adam Taggart is a strong contender to win the 2020 AFC Champions League Golden Boot as the Korea Republic side prepare to kick off their Group G campaign against Japan’s Vissel Kobe on Wednesday.
Taggart joined Suwon at the beginning of 2019 and promptly finished as the K League’s top goalscorer after finding the back of the net 20 times in what was a largely disappointing league season for the former Asian champions.
Club captain Yeom, who top-scored in the Korean FA Cup as the side secured a return to the AFC Champions League, was hugely impressed with what he saw and believes the 26-year-old Australian could be the difference between success and failure on the Continent.