ACL Report: City 0-1 Buriram

Melbourne City has suffered defeat in an AFC Champions League fixture for the first time, going down 1-0 to Buriram United on Wednesday night.

City had two goals ruled out for offside in the first half before a late penalty to the visiting Thai side saw them leave with all three points.

Team News

Aurelio Vidmar named a strong line-up for his first ACL match in charge of City.

One change was made from the weekend’s win over Sydney FC, with Leo Natel named for his first City start in place of Alessandro Lopane.

Starting XI: 1. Jamie YOUNG (GK), 25. Callum TALBOT, 4. Nuno REIS, 22. Curtis GOOD, 16. Aziz BEHICH, 6. Steven UGARKOVIC, 8. Hamza SAKHI, 10. Tolgay ARSLAN, 11. Leo NATEL, 44. Marin JAKOLIS, 9. Jamie MACLAREN (C).

Substitutes: 33. Patrick BEACH (GK), 2. Scott GALLOWAY, 17. Terry ANTONIS, 18. Jordon HALL, 21. Alessandro LOPANE, 26. Samuel SOUPRAYEN, 35. Zane SCHREIBER, 37. Max CAPUTO, 38. Harry POLITIDIS, 39. Emin DURAKOVIC, 46. Ben MAZZEO, 50. Medin MEMETI.

What happened?

It was a cagey beginning to the contest with neither team taking too many risks in the opening exchanges.

The first bit of excitement came in the 20th minute from a short-corner routine when Aziz Behich nutmegged his marker, danced around another, then saw his curling effort at goal go just wide.

Jamie Maclaren had his first sniff of goal a few minutes later after getting played in behind, the City striker then fighting his way into the box before a good block from a Buriram defender denied him getting a shot on target.

Marin Jakolis forced a save out of the keeper in the 29th minute and Maclaren was there for the follow-up and found the back of the net, but despite the celebrations of City fans it wasn’t to be with the linesman ruling offside.

He was then played in on goal by Jakolis in the 41st minute and forced a good save before Tolgay Arslan tucked home the follow-up. For the second time in the first half though, the flag was up for offside.

City looked positive to start the second half and Leo Natel almost made the most of a half chance in the 53rd minute. The Brazilian winger dribbled his way into the box and unleashed a powerful shot on goal, but his effort was just the wrong side of the post.

There wouldn’t be too many more clear-cut chances for the remainder of the contest though, as the next meaningful action wouldn’t come until the 75th minute.

A lengthy delay ensued after Jakolis had his hands in the back of a Buriram attacker who went down in the box but after much deliberation, the referee stuck with his onfield decision of no penalty.

Unfortunately for City fans, there would be no VAR intervention around 10 minutes later. A penalty was awarded after Behich was adjudged to handle the ball in the box, with the resulting spot-kick converted.

What’s next?

Our busy schedule will continue this Sunday when we return home for a big doubleheader. The afternoon will open with the Men taking on Sydney FC before our Women’s squad faces Western Sydney.

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