AFC Champions League playoff report: Kobe 4-3 Victory

Melbourne Victory’s AFC Champions League aspirations were dramatically cut short in Japan on Tuesday night in a 4-3 loss to Vissel Kobe in the playoff round.


Scores were tied at 3-3 after Ben Folami’s late super strike sent the match into extra-time, before Lincoln scored the winner for Kobe in the first additional period to seal the win.

Victory fought hard in the second period of extra-time and came agonisingly close to finding the equaliser.

It was a wild match from start to finish, with both sides leading at different stages of the high-scouring affair.

Spanish legend Andres Iniesta opened the scoring in the seventh minute with a tidy finish but was cancelled out by the in-form Nick D’Agostino six minutes later following a corner kick scramble.

It was that man D’Agostino again in the 71st minute from an incredible run and ball in by Ben Folami, who changed the complexion of the game after being subbed on.

Kobe struck back in the 80th and 87th minutes to regain the lead before Folami found the top corner in the 90th.

It was a brave effort by Victory, who entered the match as underdogs in the eyes of most pundits and in enemy territory.

Victory’s attention now turns to Saturday’s Melbourne Derby at AAMI Park against cross-town rivals Melbourne City.

Key moment

Player in focus

Nick D’Agostino put in another remarkable performance, scoring twice. The striker has scored five goals in his last three games across all competitions.


Victory will not compete in the 2022 AFC Champions League.


Vissel Kobe:
Andres Iniesta 7′
Yuya Osako 80′, 87′
Lincoln 95′

Melbourne Victory:
Nick D’Agostino 12′, 71′
Ben Folami 90′

Next up

Victory flies home to face Melbourne City on Saturday at AAMI Park.