Tainan City FC suffer 3-1 defeat to Hong Kong's Lee Man in AFC Cup
Taipei, June 27 (CNA) Tainan City FC succumbed to a 3-1 loss at the hands of Hong Kong Premier League outfit Lee Man in their AFC Cup Group J opener at Buriram Stadium in Thailand Monday.
Lee Man defender Yung Hui-to and forward Junior Dutra gave the Hong Kong club a two-goal lead with strikes in the 55th and 69th minutes respectively.
Tainan's Marc-Mechez Fenelus' clawed one back from the penalty spot in the 72nd minute, after Yao Ko-chi was brought down in the box by Lee Man defender Tsui Wang-kit.
Substitute Chang Hei-yin restored the Hong Kong side's two-goal lead six minutes later, with Lee Man holding on to defeat Tainan for the second consecutive year in the AFC Cup.
Despite a lack of game time following the early closure of the Hong Kong Premier League season due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Lee Man put in a dominant performance, registering 61.4 percent possession and 21 shots on goal compared to Tainan's 17.
The victory puts Lee Man level on points with fellow Hong Kong side Eastern Long Lions, with Eastern sitting top of the three-team Group J after defeating Lee Man 3-1 on Friday.
Before the latest match, Tainan's head coach Kenneth Kwok (郭嘉諾) said his side had come into the tournament better prepared than last year.
"This year I believe there is a big difference because the Hong Kong league has stopped, it was canceled this year so they're actually lacking some match fitness. For us, it's our second consecutive year in the AFC Cup. Last year we had the experience, and this year we have come to make our name and to try to qualify," Kwok said.
"Last year we failed to beat both teams and this year we're still in the same group, the same opponents and victory is our first priority. We will try to beat them and try to take the qualifying spot," Kwok said.
Tainan will next face the Lions on Thursday, with the winner of the single round-robin group advancing to the inter-zone playoff semifinals.
Tainan City finished third in what was a four-team group last year, with Lee Man finishing first ahead of Eastern in second, and Mongolia's Athletic 220 in fourth.
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