Victory youngsters outclassed by Daegu in ACL
Melbourne Victory were defeated 4-0 by Daegu FC in Wednesday night’s AFC Champions League tie in South Korea.
With their elimination already confirmed and a Hyundai A-League Semi-Final against Sydney to come on Sunday, Victory boss Kevin Muscat left a host of stars at home – including Keisuke Honda, Ola Toivonen and Kosta Barbarouses.
It meant a heavily rotated Victory team took to the field for their penultimate Group F match, and defenders Thomas Deng and James Donachie were the only starters from last Friday’s Elimination Final win over Wellington Phoenix.
Daegu hit the lead when the impressive Kim Dae-won drew a foul from Josh Hope in the penalty area, leaving Brazilian striker Edgar to bury the resulting spot-kick past Victory shot stopper Matt Acton.
Hope and Victory steadied the ship, and it was the Tasmania-born midfielder who teed up 19-year-old Jack Palazzolo with a big chance to equalise on his starting Victory debut in the final moment of first half stoppage time.
Unfortunately for the teenager, Daegu goalkeeper Jo Hyeon-woo was out brilliantly to smother his effort.
The South Korean outfit swiftly doubled the lead early in the second half. Acton made a fine stop from Jeong Tae-wook’s header but the defender hammered in the rebound – his maiden goal in professional football.
Only a pair of top-class Hyeon-woo saves from Kenny Athiu and substitute Elvis Kamsoba kept Victory from mounting a second half assault, before Dae-won rifled in a spectacular third for Daegu, and Jung Seon-ho added a fourth.