Match Report: Jeonnam 1-1 City

Melbourne City FC has been held by Jeonnam Dragons to a frustrating 1-1 draw in Sunday night’s AFC Champions League 2022 clash.

After a tough and cagey affair that created few clear-cut chances, both teams scored in the dying minutes.

Starting XI

Head Coach Patrick Kisnorbo made two changes to the side that defeated Jeonnam Dragons in the reverse fixture last Thursday night.

Connor Metcalfe was named for his first start of the campaign and was joined by Tsubasa Endoh who came in for Stefan Colakovski and the suspended Marco Tilio.

What happened?

Although Jeonnam Dragons controlled the ball for a decent amount of the opening minutes, it was Andrew Nabbout that was presented with the first chance of the game after being picked out in space on the right flank by Taras Gomulka.

The attacker cut in and back out before firing a powerful shot at Jeonnam keeper Kim Da Sol who made a strong save.

Chances were at a premium with the play living in the middle third until the dying minutes of the first half when Tom Glover was forced into action from close range as Go Taewon’s low effort was pushed wide for a Jeonnam corner.

The Dragons went close to opening the scoring as Park Heeseong’s clever backheel flick directed a cross into the far post. The ball bounced back into the middle of the six yard box – putting City in immediate danger until Curtis Good’s desperate lunge saved the day.

The best chance of the game so far fell to Leonard Pllana who was through on goal with just the keeper to beat. The Kosovan forward wasted his chance, pushing his curling shot wide of the post.

With barely a minute of time left in regulation, Jamie Maclaren sent his team and bench into raptures with a fantastic finish with his left foot from 15 yards after Jordan Bos’ great run and cut back from the left side. It was the Socceroo’s first goal of the AFC Champions League 2022 campaign.

However, there was one final twist in the match as City hearts were broken as Jeonnam Dragons found an equaliser with 30 seconds left in the game through their towering Georgian forward Nika Kacharava.

The draw now means that City sit second in Group G with 8 points from 4 matches, two points adrift of top spot.

What’s next?

City will be back in action on Wednesday in a group-defining match against host club BG Pathum United. Kicking off at 9:00pm AEST (6:00pm Bangkok), the match will be shown live on 10play and Paramount+.