Match Preview – Glory out to end on a high against FC Tokyo

Shanghai Shenhua v Glory - Luke Bodnar challenging

“It would definitely be great to end on a high.”

That was Richard Garcia’s opening remark during a media conference conducted via Zoom ahead of Thursday’s AFC Champions League Group F clash with FC Tokyo (kick-off at 6pm WST).


Glory head into the game buoyed by an impressive performance against Shanghai Shenhua earlier in the week which earned the club its first ever Champions League point.

And the Head Coach would love nothing more than to increase that tally to four at the expense of an FC Tokyo side still very much in contention for a place in the knockout stage. 

“The guys conducted themselves very well against Shanghai,” he said.

“They took the lead, then gave it away, but the most impressive thing for me was that they stuck at it, didn’t fold and came back and really had chances to take the game.

“That will hold us in good stead for the A-League season and gives the lads a lot of confidence going into the final game.”

Not that Garcia is expecting anything but another stern test against Kenta Hasegawa’s men who edged Glory out 1-0 when the two sides met in the Japanese capital back in February.

“They will be tough opposition to play against,” he said.

“They’re a talented side and have plenty of weapons throughout the team.

“Their strikers are fantastic; they have great pace and mobility up front, so we’re going to have to be on guard for the whole game.

“But sometimes when they’re in possession, they leave themselves open a little bit and I think we can catch them on the counter.

“We’ve been doing that quite well [in previous games] and are growing into it.

“They [FC Tokyo] all like to get forward and attack and that means that there are areas to exploit.”

In terms of his squad selection for the Education City Stadium clash, meanwhile, Garcia again reiterated the need to safeguard his players from injury with the new A-League campaign now only some six weeks away and a fortnight of hotel quarantine looming upon their return to Perth.

“We are still going to have to be mindful of the players’ bodies and make sure that we are doing the right thing in terms of setting them up for the A-League season,” he said.

“It’s a difficult one as it’s only two days since our last game, so we’ll have to juggle it around and make sure we manage people that are coming back from injury… and there are already a few players who have done a lot of minutes that are probably pushing the boundaries a little bit, like Ossie [Osama Malik] and Killa [Neil Kilkenny].

“We need to make sure that we don’t go into quarantine with injuries.”

Midfield duo Brandon Wilson and Nick Sullivan are both confirmed absentees as they serve respective one-game bans having picked up two yellow cards apiece and Garcia confirmed that Nick D’Agostino’s quad injury will again rule him out.

As for FC Tokyo, they need to match or better Shanghai Shenhua’s result against Ulsan Hyundai and in doing so, also ensure that the Chinese side do not secure a two-goal swing in goal difference if they are to join Ulsan Hyundai in progressing to the knockout stage of the competition.

Match Details

AFC Champions League 2020

Group F

Perth Glory v FC Tokyo

Thursday 3 December 2020

Education City Stadium, Doha

Kick-off: 6pm WST