Toivonen: Melbourne Victory had to overcome nerves
Melbourne: Ola Toivonen has admitted that Melbourne Victory had to survive a tense second half to claim a hard-fought 1-0 win over Thailand’s Chiangrai United in their opening 2020 AFC Champions League Group E match on Tuesday.
Swedish forward Toivanen’s penalty midway through the first half proved the difference at Melbourne Rectangular Stadium as the Australian side moved to the top of the standings, with both Beijing FC and FC Seoul not in action.
But, while the hosts were the better side, their last win in the competition came back in April 2018 and they picked up just one point in six games in a disastrous 2019 campaign, something their skipper alluded to.
Group E - MD1: Melbourne Victory (AUS) 1-0 Chiangrai United (THA)
Melbourne: A battling display from start to finish ensured Australia’s Melbourne Victory began their 2020 AFC Champions League Group E campaign in fine style on Tuesday thanks to 1-0 win over competition debutants Chiangrai United.
Ola Toivonen’s first half penalty ultimately proved the difference against resilient opponents as Melbourne shrugged off disappointing domestic form to record an ideal start to the club’s eighth AFC Champions League outing.
The result leaves Carlos Salvachua’s charges occupying top spot in the Group E standings on a day when fellow hopefuls FC Seoul from Korea Republic and China PR’s Beijing FC were not in action.
Kim satisfied as resilient Ulsan fight back to hold FC Tokyo
Ulsan: Heach coach Kim Do-hoon praised Ulsan Hyundai’s resilience after they picked up a point in their opening 2020 AFC Champions League Group F clash with FC Tokyo at Ulsan Munsu Football Stadium on Tuesday.
An own goal from Adailton eight minutes from time earned Ulsan a share of the spoils after Diego Oliveira had given FC Tokyo the lead and, while Kim was disappointed one of his own players had not been able to find the back of the net, he was pleased with the overall performance.
Group F - MD1: Ulsan Hyundai FC (KOR) 1-1 FC Tokyo (JPN)
Ulsan: Adailton headed past his own goalkeeper eight minutes from time to deny FC Tokyo a winning start to their 2020 AFC Champions League Group F campaign on Tuesday as the Brazilian’s late own goal handed hosts Ulsan Hyundai FC a 1-1 draw.
Diego Oliveira had given last year’s J.League runners-up the lead 19 minutes into the second half at Ulsan Munsu Football Stadium only for his Brazilian compatriot to find the back of his own net to hand Kim Do-hoon’s side a point at the end of an entertaining 90 minutes.
Lucescu warns Al Hilal to brace for tougher campaign
Dubai: Al Hilal SFC head coach Razvan Lucescu believes his side should have registered a more emphatic result against Shahr Khodro as the defending champions started their 2020 AFC Champions League campaign with a 2-0 win at Al Wasl Stadium on Monday.
Goals from Andre Carrillo and Bafetimbi Gomis gave Al Hilal a perfect start to their title defence in Group B but Romanian Lucescu felt they should have scored more goals to add icing to a great performance.
Group C - MD1: Al Duhail SC (QAT) 2-0 Persepolis FC (IRN)
Doha: Mario Mandzukic opened his 2020 AFC Champions League account as Qatar’s Al Duhail SC defeated Persepolis of the Islamic Republic of Iran 2-0 at Abdullah bin Khalifa Stadium in Group C on Tuesday.
Coach Walid Regragui’s men settled the tie inside the first 15 minutes with a quick double-salvo.
With just five minutes gone, Almoez Ali’s persistence coupled with a lack of discipline from Persepolis defender allowed Mandzukic to get his first goal in Asia’s prime club competition.