Melbourne Victory suffered their first Asian Champions League defeat under Carlos Salvachua, losing to K League side FC Seoul 1-0.
FC Seoul snatched a home lead after just eight minutes through Park Chu-Young, while Victory largely held their own but spurned a number of chances on Tuesday night.
Storm Roux’s injury saw Ben Carrigan called into Victory’s back three, while Jay Barnett made his ACL starting debut in midfield, replacing the benched Anthony Lesiotis.
Ola Toivonen showcases a neat piece of skill to bring the ball down.Source: Getty Images
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FC Seoul struck through their first genuine chance.
Kim Ju-sung powered down the touchline and delivered a cross that skidded through the Victory defence, where Park made no mistake with a lethal left-foot finish.
In the 11th minute, Victory spurned a gilt-edged chance.
Ola Toivonen put through a ball for Adama Traore, who found himself one-on-one with FC Seoul goalkeeper Yu Sang-hun but failed to connect with his attempted toe-poke, allowing Yu to clear.
Seven minutes later, Toivonen cut between two defenders then unleashed a cracking attempt, forcing a superb save from Yu.
Han Chan-hee of FC Seoul competes for the ball with a couple of Victory players.Source: Getty Images
From Migjen Basha’s corner, Giancarlo Gallifuoco nodded a header to the back post, where Toivonen put a difficult shot off-target.
Barnett was replaced by Lesiotis through injury on the half-hour mark. Andrew Nabbout went on a mazy run inside the 18-yard box in the 38th minute but was thwarted, summing up Victory’s frustrating opening half. FC Seoul vastly improved after the break and nearly doubled their lead a minute into the second half.
Ko Kwang-min’s wicked cross found Park, who beat Gallifuoco to the header, but directed it straight at Lawrence Thomas.
Victory’s best chance came when Kim Nam-chun’s attempt to block Nabbout’s scintillating 57th-minute cross saw the defender just inches away from turning the ball into his own net.
In the 78th minute, Brandon Lauton evaded several defenders but was unable to put his curling shot on target.
FC Seoul’s Han Chan-hee had an 84th-minute strike graze the post, while Victory substitute Marco Rojas had a late shot saved.
PERTH GLORY LOSE 1-0 TO FC TOKYO IN ACL
Perth Glory have been undone by a slice of late Brazilian magic in their 1-0 Asian Champions League loss to FC Tokyo in Japan.
Glory were on track to secure a draw in their ACL debut on Tuesday night after putting in a brave defensive effort.
But Leandro broke their hearts in the 82nd minute when he unleashed a beautiful dipping strike from outside the box.
Goalkeeper Liam Reddy’s dive was in vain as the curling ball lobbed over him and hit the net.
Long range strike sinks Glory
Glory’s defence had held firm up until that stage, with the back three of Tomi Mrcela, Alex Grant, and Gregory Wuthrich particularly impressive.
FC Tokyo only had two shots on target for the match, with many of their forays forward brought undone by Glory’s resolute rearguard action.
All in all it was a brave effort from Glory, who had to deal with the distraction of the potential sale of the club leading into the match.
Perth owner Tony Sage held talks with London Football Exchange over the weekend, but he’s yet to announce whether he will sell an 80 per cent share of Glory to the bitcoin company.
Glory welcomed back skipper Diego Castro from injury for their ACL debut, with coach Tony Popovic deciding to leave in-form striker Nicholas D’Agostino on the bench until the 73rd minute.
Leandro celebrates with his FC Tokyo teammates and entourage.Source: Getty Images
Clear-cut chance were few and far between in the opening half. Leandro and compatriots Adailton, and Diego Oliveira looked dangerous for the home side, but Glory’s steadfast defence scrambled well.
Glory had two good chances in the second half.
Bruno Fornaroli produced a nice strike that sailed just wide of the goal. And defender Ivan Franjic should have done better with his 77th-minute volley after a perfect lob from Diego Castro.
Franjic was just metres from goal, but he mistimed his strike and it skewed to the side.
Glory’s next ACL fixture is an away match against Korean outfit Ulsan Hyundai FC on March 4.
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