United City settles for draw vs Beijing Guoan in AFC Champions League opener

Published June 27, 2021, 1:01 AM

by Jonas Terrado

Stephan Schrock celebrates after scoring a goal against the Beijing Guoan in the AFC Champions League on Saturday in Tashkent, Uzbekistan. (AFC photo)

United City FC came close to claiming victory in its first-ever AFC Champions League match after being held to a 1-1 draw by a young Beijing Guoan side Saturday, June 26 at the Bunyodkor Stadium in Tashkent, Uzbekistan.

The defending champion of the Philippines Football League was primed to take the win after Stephan Schrock scored a sensational strike in the first half, but Liang Shaowen netted a free kick in the 73rd minute to eventually split a point with United City.

A somber mood appeared to be noticeable on the United City side as Beijing, which opted to send a mixture of youth and reserve players instead of its Chinese Super League lineup, celebrated like it had won the match.

UCFC could only be content on becoming the first Filipino club to secure a point in Asia’s premier club competition after Kaya-Iloilo fell 4-1 to BG Pathum United hours earlier in Thailand.

Schrock put United City in front in the 28th minute when he cut back against a Beijing defender before firing the ball from almost 20 yards and into the top right corner.

It appeared the scoreline would stand until United City’s Da-Hwon Jung committed a foul which gave Beijing a free kick from about 25 yards.

That resulted in Liang, the 19-year-old who was named captain, to find the back of the net with a shot over a wall of defenders to even things up.

The two clubs tried to produce a winner in the final minutes before settling on a draw.