UCFC grabs historic first win in AFC Champions League

·2 min read

UNITED City FC (UCFC) has made history by becoming the first Filipino club to win an AFC Champions League match after a 3-2 come-from-behind win over Beijing FC on July 8, 2021 at the Lokomotiv Stadium in Tashkent, Uzbekistan.

UCFC found itself in a deep 2-0 hole early on after two quick goals by Beijing FC with less than five minutes on the clock.

Jiang Wenhao broke away from the UCFC defense and hit a goal in the opening minute of the match. Leng Jixuan beat defender William Grierson and goalkeeper Anthony Pinthus to score a fourth minute goal inside the box.

Omid Nazari had a chance to score UCFC’s first goal just before halftime, but his header, coming from a beautiful freekick by Stephan Schröck, hit the far post.

Coming off the bench in the second half, Mark Hartmann finally broke the scoring drought of UCFC after curling in a freekick just outside the box in the 53rd minute.

Newly naturalized Filipino Bienvenido Marañon scored the equalizer in the 69th minute after sticking his boot in on a fumbled save by Beijing FC goalkeeper Guo Quanbo.

Leng had a perfect chance to give Beijing FC the lead with a long shot. But his attempt bounced off the near post and opened up for counterattack by UCFC that led to Hartmann’s winning goal in the 80th minute.

Though UCFC is already out of the tournament, the Filipino club showed its potential in Asia’s biggest stage. But it will play its final match in Group 1 on Sunday, July 11, against Daegu FC.

Kaya FC-Iloilo, on the other hand, suffered a close 1-0 loss to home team and defending Thai League 1 champion BG Pathum United at the Leo Stadium in Bangkok, Thailand.

Sarach Yooyan scored the lone goal late in the match with a shot on the bottom corner in the 83rd minute.

The match was competitive and was nowhere near its 4-1 score line in both clubs’ previous meeting.

Kaya FC-Iloilo has shown a lot of improvement in the second half of the group stage with close losses to BG Pathum United and defending AFC Champions League champion Ulsan Hyundai FC.

Kaya FC-Iloilo will also play against Viettel FC on Sunday.

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