United City expects a tough battle against South Korean side Daegu while Kaya-Iloilo takes on another domestic league champion from Southeast Asia in Vietnam’s Viettel tonight in the AFC Champions League.
UCFC plays Daegu at the Bunyodkor Stadium in Taskhent, Uzbekistan while Kaya meets Viettel at the Leo Stadium in Pathum Thani, Thailand. Kickoff for both matches is at 10 p.m. Manila time.
The debut of the two Philippines Football League clubs in Asia’s top club competition ended with contrasting results as United City settled on a 1-1 draw against Beijing Guoan and Kaya falling 4-1 to Thai League 1 champion BG Pathum United.
Despite becoming the first Filipino club to register a point in the ACL, United City was denied of a victory when Stephan Schrock’s first half strike was cancelled by an equalizer by Liang Siaowen.
This time, United City will have its hands full against Daegu, which opened its Group I assignment with a 3-2 defeat to Japanese champion Kawasaki Frontale.
“After the last performance, we were very pleased. We know it will be a difficult game,” said United City coach Jason Withe. “They lost their game so will be chasing the points against us.”
Kaya, meanwhile, looks for a good showing this time after conceding two goals each half against BG Pathum United before getting a consolation goal courtesy of Marwin Angeles.
Viettel, which captured Vietnam’s V.League 1 title last year, is coming off a 1-0 loss to defending Champions League winner Ulsan Hyundai of South Korea.
“Time will tell if they are going to come out of their shell. I think the onus is probably on them as champions of Vietnam to come out and attack, but whether they do, we are prepared for both options,” Kaya coach Graham Harvey said. “It’d be nice if they did so that we can exploit some space which we can work on. We’ve got a couple of ideas for both ways.”
But Kaya will play without one of its reliable defenders in Simone Rota, who will serve a one-match ban after a straight red in the second half against BG Pathum United.