FILIPINO clubs United City FC (UCFC) and Kaya FC-Iloilo gun for their first victories in their historic campaign in the AFC Champions League tonight, June 29, in two different locations.
UCFC takes on South Korean club Daegu FC in Group I tonight at the Bunyodkor Stadium in Tashken, Uzbekistan, while Kaya FC-Iloilo takes on V.League 1 champion Viettel FC at the Pathum Thani Stadium in Bangkok, Thailand.
UCFC made its AFC Champions League debut with a 1-1 draw with China’s Beijing FC last June 26.
UCFC captain Stephan Schröck scored a beautiful goal in the first half. But the Philippines Football League (PFL) titleholder failed to hold on to the lead and conceded a late goal by Liang Shaowen.
Daegu FC, on the other hand, suffered a come-from-behind 3-2 defeat against J1 League titleholder Kawasaki Frontale.
UCFC is in for a tough assignment against Daegu FC, the fifth-placed club in the K League 1 2020 season, that has two Brazilian strikers, Cesinha and Edgar, leading the attack.
Meanwhile, Kaya FC-Iloilo had a disappointing debut in the Group Stage of the AFC Champions League after a 4-1 loss to Thai League 1 champion BG Pathum United in Group F.
Viettel FC suffered a 1-0 defeat to defending AFC Champions League titleholder Ulsan Hyundai.
Viettel FC fought toe-to-toe with Ulsan Hyudai up until Austrian forward Lukas Hinterseer scored the game-winning goal in the first minute of added time.
Kaya FC-Iloilo is the clear underdog but an upset is never impossible. Kaya FC-Iloilo recently scored a huge upset of Shanghai Port FC in the Play-Off Stage after a 1-0 win to advance into the Group Stage.
UCFC and Kaya FC-Iloilo are the first two Filipino clubs to ever play in the AFC Champions League since its inception 54 years ago.