UNITED City FC battled to a 1-1 stalemate with China’s Beijing FC, while Kaya FC-Iloilo suffered a 1-4 loss to Thailand’s BG Pathum United as the two top Philippine clubs made history in the AFC Champions League Saturday night.
UCFC shared points with Beijing at the Bunyodkor Stadium in Tashkent, as veteran Stephan Schrock’s first-half stunner was canceled out by a sublime free-kick from teenager Liang Shaowen.
Marwin Angeles scored the first-ever ACL goal for a Filipino side – a consolation for 10-man Kaya as it was overwhelmed by two goals by the hosts’ 1-2 punch of Diogo Luis Santo and Teerasil Dangda at the Pathum Thani Stadium in Bangkok.
It was still a momentous moment in Philippine football, as Group I’s UCFC and Group F’s Kaya showcased their wares in the continent’s top-tier club tournament that no other team in the country has done before.
Schrock’s 28th minute screamer gave his first ACL goal and put UCFC ahead.
It has been a dominant first 73 minutes from the Filipino debutants until the 19-year-old Liang produced a magic for the Chinese side to level.
Despite its failure to close out the match, UCFC became the first team from the Philippines to claim an AFC Champions League point.
A wonderful 81st strike from Angeles ended Kaya’s search to give the country’s first ACL goal as the 25-year old Filipino club received a rude welcome in continental play.
“I think for us now, we need to make sure we get up, stand up, and go again. But I’m very proud of how the boys worked for the 90 minutes,” said Kaya coach Graham Harvey.
Teerasil, a Thailand football legend, netted his the sixth career ACL goal to open the scoring in the 23rd minute.
Brazilian Diogo then doubled Pathum United’s lead with a 35th minute strike.
Kaya went down to 10 men as Simone Rota was sent off in the 49th minute for hauling down Diogo.
Diogo punished Kaya with a 51st minute free kick and assisted Teerasil’s fine header eight minutes later to give the Thais a commanding four-goal advantage.
“I’m very proud of our side, our boys gave 100%. They worked very hard, particularly when we were down to ten men. They did everything we asked of them before the game,” Graham said.
Brazilian Leandro Damiao netted a brace as Japan’s Kawasaki Frontale score a 3-2 win over South Korea’s Daegu FC in an equally entertaining game in Group I.
A stoppage time own goal saw defending champion Ulsan Hyundai of South Korea narrowly avoid a shock draw against Viettel FC of Vietnam in the other Group F match.