Victory fall to Incheon in AFC Women’s Club Championship opener

Melbourne Victory began their AFC Women’s Club Championship campaign with a 4-0 defeat to Korean powerhouse Incheon Hyundai Steel Red Angels on Tuesday evening (AEDT).

Kim Dam-bi and Thais Guedes strikes put the WK League champions in the ascendancy at the interval.

Images courtesy of Melbourne Victory 

Two goals in as many second half minutes from Lee Se-eun – the second being a brilliant free-kick – sealed the result and consigned the Westfield W-League Premiers to a Match Day 1 defeat in the inaugural tournament. 

Victory boss Jeff Hopkins said he was pleased with his side’s start but admitted the Navy Blue were ultimately worn down by the Red Angels’ consistent pressure. 

“I thought we actually started the game quite well, the first 20-25 minutes we were definitely in the game, creating chances,” he told the club website. 

Watch the full match in the player below.

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“But after that, for a number of reasons I think we didn’t deal very well with the pressure on the ball, we started to turn balls over and once we conceded, we were in a little bit of trouble.

“We dealt with it for maybe 25 minutes, but it was constant, consistent pressure and after I think maybe they wore us down with the pressure.

“The amount of time they could actually keep that press and that pressure up, that’s something most probably we’ve not been used to in the Australian game and it’s something we need to get better at.”

Victory will look to bounce back against Chinese champions Jiangsu Suning on Thursday, kick off 5.45pm (AEDT). 

“It’s disappointing, but I guess we’ve got a game now in a couple of days and we’ll think about tonight’s game and then put it behind us and look forward to the next game.”

Melina Ayres

Tournament details

The first-ever AFC Women’s Club Championship will be held in South Korea in a round-robin format from November 26-30.

The tournament features the three champions from China (Jiangsu Suning), Japan (Nippon TV Beleza) and tournament hosts South Korea (Incheon Hyundai Steel Red Angels).

Although Sydney FC are reigning Westfield W-League Champions, Asian Football Confederation rules dictate that Premiership winners are the first criteria for qualification given there are no Finals Series matches in the other leagues. 


November 28
Jiangsu Suning v Melbourne Victory (3.45pm KST, 5.45pm AEDT)
Incheon Hyundai Steel Red Angels v Nippon TV Beleza (7pm KST, 9pm AEDT)

November 30
Melbourne Victory v Nippon TV Beleza (12pm KST, 2pm AEDT)
Jiangsu Suning v Incheon Hyundai Steel Red Angels (3.15pm KST, 5.15pm AEDT)

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