Glory round off ACL campaign with narrow defeat

Glory v FC Tokyo - Bruno Fornaroli free-kick

Glory’s maiden AFC Champions League campaign ended with a narrow defeat on Thursday evening as FC Tokyo progressed to the Round of 16 courtesy of Adailton’s early goal.

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The Brazilian midfielder raced half the length of the pitch to give the Japanese side the lead with just seven minutes on the clock and while Richard Garcia’s men responded well, notably in the second half, they were ultimately unable to claim a share of the spoils.

The defeat was Glory’s fifth in their six Group F games and their fourth since the tournament resumed in Doha, but there were again much to like about the performance of what was a youthful side showing six changes from that which started against Shanghai Shenhua last time out.

“I was disappointed with the result,” said Garcia, “but the boys have given their all over what has been a tough three weeks and I was very pleased with that side of it.

“Tokyo needed to go out and get a result and we were a bit fatigued to start with and it looked as if the previous games had taken their toll on the boys.

“It’s testament to them that they stuck at it and the guys that came on for the second half changed it around a little bit and we got on the front foot a bit more and took the game to them.

“This trip has been a good exercise in terms of us growing as a group, being away together and gelling.

“A lot of the younger guys learned a lot about senior football and it’s been very good to see the older players and some of the younger ones evolve into more than just footballers, into good leaders and good athletes.”

Adailton’s opener set the tone for a first half in which the WA side found themselves on the back foot for long periods, with Takuya Uchida firing narrowly wide before striking the foot of the post during a goalmouth scramble as FC Tokyo poured forward.

Following the introduction of Diego Castro, Bruno Fornaroli and Dane Ingham at the start of the second half, however, Glory gained a foothold in the contest and began to create some chances of their own.

Carlo Armiento’s cross-shot was blocked by Go Hatano in the FC Tokyo goal before Fornaroli and Castro both went close with long-range strikes.

As the game opened up in the final 20 minutes,  Taichi Hara’s deflected shot almost doubled his side’s lead, while at the other end, Armiento had a strong penalty claim waved away by the referee after appearing to be shoved over in the box.

A superb, last-ditch challenge from Jonathan Aspropotamitis prevented Takahagi Yojiro from making it 2-0 right at the death and a second goal would have been tough on a Glory side which once again demonstrated the impressive spirit and determination that has characterised its performances throughout the tournament.

Match Details

AFC Champions League 2020 Group F

Perth Glory 0 FC Tokyo 1 (Adailton 8′)

Half-time: 0-1

Education City, Doha

Referee: Hanna Hattab

Perth Glory:  33.Liam REDDY (GK), 3.Jonathan ASPROPOTAMITIS, 4.Darryl LACHMAN (7.Luke BODNAR 65′), 5.Nicholas WALSH (23.Dane INGHAM 46′), 10.Daniel STYNES (17.Diego CASTRO 46′), 11.Declan HUGHES, 14.Giordano COLLI (22.Joshua RAWLINS 65′),  25.Carlo ARMIENTO, 27.Bryce BAFFORD (9.Bruno FORNAROLI 46′), 28.Mason TATAFU  88.Neil KILKENNY (C)

Substitutes not used: 1.Tando VELAPHI (GK), 13.Osama MALIK

Yellow Cards: Hughes, Kilkenny, Aspropotamitis

Red Cards: None

FC Tokyo: 13.Go HATANO (GK), 4.Tsuyoshi WATANABE, 5.Daiki NIWA, 7.Hirotaka MITA (24.Taichi HARA 57′), 10.Keigo HIGASHI (8.Yojiro TAKAHAGI 69′), 15.ADAILTON (38.Kazuya KONNO 84′), 22.Takumi NAKAMURA, 27.Kyosuke TAGAWA (31.Shuto ABE 57′), 28.Takuya UCHIDA (20.LEANDRO 69′), 37.Hotaka NAKAMURA, 44.Manato SHINADA 

Substitutes not used: 6.Ryoya OGAWA,  23.Kiichi YAJIMA,  32.Joan OUMARI, 49.Kashif BANGNAGANDE

Yellow Cards: None

Red Cards: None