FC Tokyo edge out Perth Glory in tight ACL tussle in Japan
Perth Glory’s first-ever match in the AFC Champions League has ended in defeat after a late goal saw them lose 1-0 against FC Tokyo on Tuesday night.
Glory appeared on track for a hard-fought draw as they produced a solid defensive performance for almost 82 minutes in Japan.
But Tony Popovic’s side were undone by a piece of Brazilian magic eight minutes from time.
Leandro was given just enough time and space just outside the box and he unleashed a beautiful dipping strike to beat a despairing Liam Reddy.
It was one of just two shots the home side had on target in the match, underlining how comfortable Glory were for much of the match.
While FC Tokyo dominated possession, they struggled to penetrate Glory’s well organised and disciplined defensive structure.
And they created a couple of chances of their own, with Bruno Fornaroli hitting a superb strike which sailed just wide of the goal just after the break.
But their best chance fell to right wing-back Ivan Franjic 13 minutes from the end.
Diego Castro’s classy lob fell to Franjic just metres from goal but his failed to catch his shot sweetly and it skewed off target.
While Glory have opened their 2020 ACL campaign with a loss, they return to Hyundai A-League action on Saturday on the back of a nine-game unbeaten run.
They’ll look to extend that to 10 matches when they take on Brisbane Roar at Dolphin Stadium in Redcliffe on Saturday.
Brisbane Roar v Perth Glory
Saturday, 22 February 2020
Kick-off: 4pm local, 5pm AEDT
Venue: Dolphin Stadium, Redcliffe
Broadcast: FOX Sports 505, ABC TV
Stream: MyFootball Live App, Kayo Sports, ABC iView