By ADRIAN STEWART CO
United City Football Club was forced to a 1-1 deadlock by the Beijing Guoan of China in the 2021 AFC Champions League group stage on Saturday night at the Bunyodkor Stadium in Tashkent, Uzbekistan.
It was a disappointing deadlock for the Philippine representatives after immediately taking the lead in the opening half courtesy of a 28th minute conversion from Stephan Schrock.
United City had more opportunities to widen the lead but could not capitalize before Beijing Guoan managed to knot the score at 1-1 at the 73rd minute behind Liang Shaowen.
United City still had a shot at taking the lead late in the match but the attempt of Matt Hartmann just hit the crossbar. Their attempts in the added period were all deflected by the defense.
Kaya Futbol Club-Iloilo, for its part, had a rough debut after being manhandled by BG Pathum United of Thailand, 4-1, in the group stage game on Saturday night at the Pathum Thani Stadium in Thanyaburi, Thailand.
Kaya-Iloilo had two early saves from keeper Louie Casas but BG Pathum United broke the scoreless deadlock at the 23rd minute with Teerasil Dangda converting from close range.
The Iloilo-based team had an opportunity to tie the score but Masanari Omura misfired his 24th minute try. The Thais managed to double the advantage 11 minutes later via a goal from Diogo Luis Santo.
Kaya-Iloilo suffered a huge blow in the second half with Simone Rota getting tagged with a red card for taking down Santo. Pathum United took this advantage as Dangda and Santo scored back-to-back to make it a 4-0 count.
The Philippine representatives, however, made sure that they will not go home empty handed in their AFC Champions League debut as Marwin Angeles connected at the 81st minute mark./ASC, WDJ