AFC Champions League 2021 Group J Kitchee won Guangzhou FC by 1:0

2021-07-03

On Saturday evening, Kitchee and FC Guangzhou FC (CHN) faced off in Buriram Stadium, Thailand, for the second time on the same week for a crunching battle in the AFC Champions League 2021 Group J. Dejan Damjanovic continued his fine scoring form in the AFC Champions League 2021 Group Stage by netting the match-winner for Kitchee once again, leading the Hong Kong side past Guangzhou FC 1:0.

Kitchee managed to generate an early scoring chance in the game. On the 8th minute, Alexander Akande pushed forward with the ball down the right side before knocking it towards the middle. Dejan Damjanovic belted a one-timer from inside the box but saw his shot smartly smothered by a sprawling Zhang Jianzhi in the Guangzhou FC net.

The Hong Kong side came up with another opportunity on the 19th minute. Matthew Orr’s short pass found teammate Ho Chun-ting inside the Guangzhou FC box. Ho unloaded a tight angle shot from the right flank but the ball took a deflection off a Guangzhou FC player and went out of play.

On the 20th minute, Guangzhou FC went tantalizingly close to opening the score. A well-placed cross from the left wing saw the ball reaching Huang Kaizhou at the far side. Huang fought off pressure from Helio Goncalves and dished out a leaping header towards the Kitchee net, only to miss hitting the target.

It was back to Kitchee’s turn on the 26th minute. Tong Kin-man floated a teasing cross into the Guangzhou FC penalty area. Dejan Damjanovic took control of the ball, then spun and fired but saw his strike hit a Guangzhou FC player and went out of play. Just before the half hour mark, Guangzhou FC skipper Fan Hengbo unloaded from the edge of the Kitchee penalty area but fired the ball wide. The first half eventually wrapped up goalless.

Early in the second half, Kitchee went knocking on the Guangzhou FC door, hoping to find the go-ahead goal. On the 47th minute, Ho Chun-ting sent a free-kick deep into the Guangzhou FC box. Matthew Orr dished out a leaping header but failed to solve Zhang Jianzhi in goal. Afterwards, Kitchee came up with an even better chance to break the stalemate.

On the 54th minute, Dejan Damjanovic was sent flying down the left wing and managed to cross the ball towards the middle. Alexander Akande connected with a side-footer but sent the ball inches wide off the Guangzhou FC goal-post. It was a glorious opportunity missed by the Kitchee attacker. Kitchee finally broke the game open on the 70th minute. A Guangzhou FC player committed hand ball inside his own box. The referee quickly pointed to the penalty-spot and awarded Kitchee with a spot-kick. Veteran Dejan Damjanovic buried the penalty-shot and put Kitchee in front 1:0.

The Hong Kong side came up with another scoring chance on the 72nd minute. Alexander Akande found just enough opening outside the Guangzhou FC penalty area and drilled a low shot towards the net, only to be denied by a superb one-handed save from a sprawling Zhang Jianzhi in net.

Shortly afterwards, Kitchee’s Dejan Damjanovic nicked the ball off a Guangzhou FC player and duly fired a long-range shot that bounced just wide off the Guangzhou FC goal-post. The 1:0 score stood towards the final whistle, as Kitchee scraped past a resilient Guangzhou FC side and claimed maximum points from the latest AFC Champions League 2021 Group Stage fixture. Photo source: Kitchee