Stephan Schrock’s wondergoal was not enough as a frustrated United City could only lament a 1-1 draw against Beijing Guoan in their first match in the 2021 AFC Champions League, Saturday evening at the Pathum Thani Stadium in Bangkok, Thailand.
The result leaves United City and Beijing Guoan with a point each in Group I.
“I think if you look at the end, they’ll be very pleased with the result with a 1-1 draw,” said coach Jason Withe. “We’re walking off very disappointed.”
The reigning Philippines Football League champions enjoyed a dream start to the match. Legendary talisman Schrock unleashed a long-range strike in the 28th minute to break the deadlock.
United City kept knocking at the door in the second half to increase their lead, but their attempts narrowly missed the target.
Curt Dizon’s sniff at goal was deflected out for a corner. Meanwhile, Pika Minegishi’s shot was parried away by Beijing Guoan goalie Guo Quanbo.
Things took a turn late in the game, though. Beijing Guoan found an equalizer in spectacular fashion.
The Chinese side won a free kick outside United City’s box. Liang Shaowen then capitalized with a magnificent goal at the 73rd minute.
United City almost clinched the three points in stoppage time but the crossbar denied substitute forward Mark Hartmann’s strike. Bienvenido Maranon headed over minutes later.
“As I said, we created chances and the boys are walking off very disappointed… But, you know, the pleasing point is and I said this in halftime, it’s okay to have a great possession but we need to have an end whether it’s a cross or a shot on goal. We’ve done that. We created those chances so (on) that side, I’m very pleased,” added Withe.
Next up for United City is South Korea’s Daegu on Tuesday, June 29, 2021, 10:00 PM Manila time.
United City XI: Pinthus (GK), Ingham, Schrock ©, Kane, Jung Da-Hwon, Minegishi, Ott, Omid Nazari, Baas, Amin Nazari, Maranon.
Beijing Guoan XI: Guo Quanbo (GK), Jiang Wenhao, Liang Shaowen ©, Ruan Qilong, Leng Jixuan, Naibijiang Mohemaiti, Xu Dongdong, Hu Jiaqi, Duan Dezhi, Shi Yucheng, Chen Yanpu.