United City amazes Beijing with Pinoy club’s first AFC Champions League win
Luisa Morales (Philstar.com) – July 9, 2021 – 3:17 p.m.
MANILA, Philippines – United City FC made history Thursday after posting a stunning comeback against Chinese champions Beijing Guoan in the AFC Champions League group stage 3-2 in Tashkent, in Uzbekistan.
The victory, which they won after a 0-2 loss in the first half of the game, marked the first victory for a Filipino club in the elite regional competition.
United City looked set for another loss when Jiang Wenhao and Leng Jixuan put the Chinese side 2-0 up in the opening four minutes of the game.
But the Philippine Football League champions were not deterred as they kept their foot on the accelerator.
Mark Hartmann was the first to find the back of the net in the 59th minute to put United City on the board.
Newly naturalized Filipino Bienvenido Maranon equalized 10 minutes later for his first goal as a Filipino citizen.
Hartmann then completed the comeback with a goal in the 80th minute.
The Filipinos’ victory avenged a draw against Beijing in their first Champions League meeting.
United City, however, remain in third place in Group I, with four points after suffering two losses to Kawasaki Frontale and another to Daegu FC of Korea.
UCFC wraps up its first-ever AFC Champions League campaign against Daegu FC on Sunday.
Filipino club Kaya FC Iloilo are yet to claim a victory and also played their last Champions League game on Sunday against Viettel FC.