Victory to face Bali United in AFC Champions League tie

Melbourne Victory will host Bali United in an AFC Champions League Preliminary Stage Two tie after the Indonesian side beat Singapore's Tampines Rovers FC 5-3 in Preliminary Stage One.

In an enthralling affair at the Jalan Besar Stadium in Singapore on Tuesday night, Bali crafted an early two-goal lead through two goals to Dutchman Melvin Platje but Tampines Rovers made a phenomenal comeback with Boris Kopitovic and Jordan Webb scoring on either side of half-time to level the scores.

An own goal to Bali's Rahmat Syamsuddin put Rovers ahead 3-2, but Syamsuddin made amends down the other end soon after, scoring an equaliser for Bali before the 90 minutes were up, to send the tie into extra time, where Stefano Lilipaly and Sidik Saimima scored a further two goals to seal a crazy 5-3 win for Bali.

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In defeating Tampines Rovers, Bali set up a crunch tie with Melbourne Victory in the second stage of preliminary qualifying.

The winner of the contest on January 21 will progress to face Japan's Kashima Antlers on January 28, with the winner of that tie ultimately progressing to the group stages of the 2020 AFC Champions League.

It’s an exciting prospect for the Victory, made all the more interesting by the sacking of Marco Kurz as head coach, meaning they will approach the penultimate leg of their qualifying campaign with new boss Carlos Salvachua at the helm.

The Victory finished bottom of their AFC Champions League group in 2018/19, registering just one point, and will be eager for atonement should they progress through preliminary qualification.

Ola Toivonen
Victory had a disappointing AFC Champions League campaign in 2019

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