Melbourne Victory dumped from ACL despite draw with Beijing Guoan
Melbourne Victory have been forced out of the Asian Champions League after a 0-0 draw with Beijing Guoan. The Victory had to get three points in Melbourne but were unable to do so and the point they gained from the draw was not enough to keep them from elimination.
The opening 20 minutes was all one-way traffic as Beijing dominated that period of play and had a few shots on goal but could not convert despite their dominance.
They were unlucky not to score in the 18th minute when a cross from the left flank floated onto the backpost, where Joel Griffiths was on hand to header it back into the path of Valdo but his reflex header could not beat Victory keeper Mitchell Langerak who seemed very pleased for the ball to fall in his arms.
A few minutes later, it was the Victory's turn for some poor luck when striker Robbie Kruse chased down a mishandled ball by Beijing shot-stopper Yang Zhi and was taken down in the area but despite appeals from the Melbourne players, the referee signalled a goalkick.
The Victory got themselves back into the contest and were beginning to look dangerous on various occasions but it didn't bother Beijing who continued to press forward and it was quite amazing that they did not take a lead into the break.
Melbourne made their intentions clear early in the second half with some nice link up play but it didn't amount to much and once again they were very lucky not go down just after the hour-mark when Griffiths was picked out in the area by a pinpoint cross but the marksman's open header was jagged wide of the mark which was a big let off for the Victory.
With just over 15 minutes left, Victory substitute Marvin Angulo unleashed from way outside the area and his thunderbolt was only half dealt with by Yang Zhi although the rebound was only knocked back in by Melbourne's Nik Mrdja as the Beijing keeper gladly held on to the second effort.
Time was running out for the Victory as they chased the elusive goal that would keep their Asian Champions League hopes alive but they were unsuccessful as they faced an early exit from the competition as Beijing grabbed a point and lived to fight another day.
MVMitchell Langerak (gk), Kevin Muscat (c), Surat Sukha (60' Ferreira), Leigh Broxham, Nik Mrdja, Rodrigo Vargas, Carlos Hernandez (52' Angulo), Matthew Foschini, Evan Berger, Robbie Kruse, Nick Ward (83' Pilkington)
Subs Glen Moss (gk), Marvin Angulo 52', Diogo Ferreira 60', Luke Pilkington 83'
BG Yang Zhi (gk), Lang Zheng, Zhou Ting, Darko Matic, Xu Liang (72' Wang Changqing), Valdo (59' Du Wenhui), Yan Xiangchuang (80' Wang Xiaolong, Xu Yunlong (c), Huang Bowen, Joel Griffiths, Maurice Ross
Subs Zhang Sipeng (gk), Du Wenhui 59', Wang Changqing 72', Wang Xiaolong 80'