Report: Kawasaki Frontale 2-2 Victory


A 93rd-minute penalty from Leroy George helped Melbourne Victory to a 2-2 draw at Kawasaki Frontale in the AFC Champions League.


George struck from the spot in the dying stages at Kawasaki Todoroki Stadium to earn Victory a point in the Group F clash.

Besart Berisha had earlier cancelled out Elsinho’s opener in the first half on Wednesday.

The J1 League champion appeared on track for a win after a Kyohei Noborizato tap in, but George converted from the penalty spot in the closing stages after teenager Christian Theoharous was fouled in the area.

The result left Victory with two points from its opening three games and third in the group.

The host enjoyed some good early moments, with Victory goalkeeper Lawrence Thomas forced to push away a Shintaro Kurumaya effort in the 14th minute.

Kawasaki Frontale opened the scoring just before the half-hour mark.

A fine passing move eventually fell to Elsinho, who drilled a left-footed strike past Thomas from just inside the area.

Victory went close nine minutes before half-time, but Kosta Barbarouses was denied by a superb Shota Arai save after being put in behind by George.

However, the visitor struck from the resultant corner, Berisha sweeping in the set-piece from George to make it 1-1.

The goal saw Berisha join Kevin Muscat – the Victory head coach – as the club’s equal top goalscorer in the competition on six.

Thomas made a straightforward save from an Akihiro Ienaga free-kick in the 52nd minute, but the host restored its lead soon after.

Yu Kobayashi got in down the right before squaring to Noborizato for a simple tap in.

Victory again built into the half as it went on and it was rewarded in the closing stages.

Theoharous, introduced off the bench, did brilliantly to burst into the area before being fouled, with George converting the spot-kick.

Player in focus


AFC Champions League 2018 Match Day 3
Kawasaki Frontale 2
(Elsinho 28′, Kyohei Noborizato 55′)
Melbourne Victory 2 (Besart Berisha 36′, Leroy George 90+3′ pen)

Kawasaki Frontale: Arai (gk), Nara, Taniguchi, Kurumaya, Elsinho, Noborizato (Hasegawa 88′), Abe (Nakamura 83′), Oshima, Neto (Chinen 90+4′), Ienaga, Kobayashi (c)
Melbourne Victory: Thomas (gk), Deng, Williams, Donachie, Broxham, Valeri (c) (Hope 78′), Antonis, Troisi, Barbarouses (Theoharous 78′), Berisha (Athiu 86′), George

Yellow cards: Williams 56′, Valeri 71′, Neto 78′
Red cards: Nil
Attendance: TBA
Venue: Kawasaki Todoroki Stadium

Next up

Victory’s next outing is a return clash against Kawasaki Frontale at Melbourne Rectangular Stadium on Tuesday. Tickets available here.