Kaya FC-Iloilo displayed its best performance in the AFC Champions League after a competitive 2-1 loss to defending champion Ulsan Hyundai FC in Group F at the Pathum Thanni Stadium in Bangkok, Thailand.
Ulsan, one of the tournament’s favorites, immediately tested young goalkeeper Zach Bazon, who started in place of veteran Cebuano goalie Louie Casas.
In just the second minute, Ulsan had a scoring opportunity with an attempt by Kim Min-jun but Banzon showed his quick reflexes and deflected the shot. Banzon later caught Lukas Hinterseer’s volley in the eighth minute.
Ulsan finally broke the deadlock with a bizarre goal by Yun Bit-Garam in the 27th minute. Hinterseer made a shot attempt that bounced off the face of Yun and into the back of the net.
Kaya FC got a much-needed advantage after Ulsan was down to 10 players following Hong Myung-bo’s red card. Hong struck out a boot that hit Casambre’s head that earned him an outright red card in the 31st minute.
Kaya FC capitalized the Ulsan’s handicap and scored the equalizer in the 47th minute with a goal by skipper Jovin Bedic coming from a cross by Ryo Fujii. It was the first conceded goal by Ulsan in the tournament.
Yun, however, had a quick answer and scored the go-ahead goal in the 51st minute.
Kaya FC fought hard in the remainder of the match but was unable to salvage a draw against the Group F leader.
Ulsan remains at the top of Group F with 12 points, while Kaya FC is still at the bottom and in search of its first points in the tournament.
Meanwhile, United City FC (UCFC) also put on a gallant stand in a 2-0 defeat to J1 League champion Kawasaki Frontale at the Lokomotiv Stadium in Tashkent, Uzbekistan.
UCFC suffered an 8-0 drubbing in its last meeting with Kawasaki Frontale. But this time around UCFC had a better performance because of the impressive goalkeeping of Anthony Pinthus.
Kawasaki Frontale scored the opening goal with a strike by Kei Chinen in the 18th minute after a blunder by the UCFC defense.
Tatsuya Hasegawa made it a two-goal lead after hitting his target in the 78th minute. Kawasaki Frontale sits at the top of Group F with 12 points, while UCFC is at the last spot with a point. (EKA)