Melbourne City FC will be searching for its first AFC Champions League win when it faces United City in the early hours of Tuesday morning, Australian time.
City got off to a dream start in its debut ACL campaign when Andrew Nabbout netted a stunning opener in the 22nd minute against Thailand’s BG Pathum United. The wingers lethal left foot strike from outside the box was a deserved goal from City’s early dominance of the ball, but that would soon change.
BG would quickly get back into the game following Nabbout’s opener and equaliser little more than 10 minutes later and despite second half chances to both teams, the game would end 1-1.
Overall it was a relatively solid performance for Patrick Kisnorbo’s men, who did have the chance to steal it late via a Jamie Maclaren chance if not for a crucial touch from the BG goalkeeper.
The next challenge facing the City boys comes in the form of Fillipino Champions United City, who begun their ACL campaign with a loss to K2 club Jeonnam Dragons.
United struggled to create chances over the course of the 90 minutes, registering just two shots but despite this – almost managed to scrape away with a draw.
The resistance finally ended in the 87th minute when Leonard Pllana was found unmarked in the box and finished coolly past the keeper.
Interestingly, that was the first match in a long time for United City, who have been restricted to playing in Cups and friendlies in the last couple of years due to no domestic football being played as a result of COVID-19.
By contrast, City are deep into its A-League Men season back on home soil, so you’d think Kisnorbo’s men may hold the upper hand in terms of fitness.
The style of play is also set to be a fascinating watch. United had just 35% possession in their opening Group G match, and now coming up against a Melbourne City side which enjoys dominating the ball – Kisnorbo’s men should have plenty of chances to create scoring opportunites.
Melbourne City FC v United City
Tuesday 19 April, 12:00am kick-off (AEST)
Monday 18 April, 9:00pm kick-off (Local – Bangkok)
Pathum Thani Stadium
Watch LIVE on 10play or Paramount+