Melbourne Victory salvage pride in Guangzhou Evergrande draw

Gabriel Tan Gabriel Tan

Melbourne Victory are still alive in AFC Champions League 2019 after picking up their first point of the campaign on Tuesday with a 1-1 draw against Guangzhou Evergrande at the Melbourne Rectangular Stadium.

Highlights – Melbourne Victory vs Guangzhou Evergrande

Having suffered three consecutive defeats so far in the tournament, including a 4-0 loss to the same opposition last time out, it looked like Victory were in for another tough evening when the visitors opened the scoring in the 24th minute.

AFC Champions League 2019: Melbourne Victory 0-1 Guangzhou Evergrande (Huang Bowen 24′)

Capitalising after the hosts gave away possession outside their own area, Paulinho drove into the box and hit the byline before cutting a ball back to leave Huang Bowen with a simple finish.

But, just two minutes later, Victory equalised when Evergrande left-back Gao Zhunyi – in a bid to make an interception – could only guide the ball into the path of an unmarked Jai Ingham, who coolly dispatched his shot past Liu Dianzuo.

AFC Champions League 2019: Melbourne Victory 1-1 Guangzhou Evergrande (Jai Ingham 26′)

With neither side able to find the back of the net again in the second 45, both had to settle for a share of the spoils and while Victory are mathematically still alive, they will be eliminated if there is a winner in Tuesday’s other Group F tie between Daegu FC and Sanfrecce Hiroshima.

MELBOURNE VICTORY: Lawrence Thomas, Storm Roux, James Donachie, Thomas Deng, Corey Brown, Carl Valeri (Anthony Lesiotis 73’), Joshua Hope (Rahmat Akbari 80’), Terry Antonis, Elvis Kamsoba, Jai Ingham (Jack Palazzolo 85’), Kenny Athiu.

GUANGZHOU EVERGRANDE: Liu Dianzuo, Zhang Linpeng, Tyias Browning, Park Ji-soo, Gao Zhunyi (Li Xuepeng 77’), Huang Bowen, He Chao (Yan Dinghao 68’), Paulinho, Anderson Talisca, Gao Lin (Yu Hanchao 61’), Yang Liyu.