22 May 2019
Melbourne Victory and Sanfrecce Hiroshima go head-to-head at the AAMI Park for the final AFC Champions League group stage fixture.
A disastrous haul of one point from the opening five group-stage matches sees the hosts sitting bottom of Group F without any chance of advancing the knockout stage. The Australians are one of three teams that have failed to pick up a win so far, with their only point at the competition coming at home. Having failed to preserve a clean slate so far the competition, allowing 14 goals in five games, Boys in Blue hold the joint-worst defensive record. Melbourne’s slow start to the game has seen them concede four goals inside the opening 15 minutes. On the other hand, Victory’s tally of three goals scored is the CL’s joint-low, with the Australian side scoring precisely one goal per match in both of their previous CL home outings.
Meanwhile, the visitors top Group F with a record of four wins and a loss and have already booked tickets for the knockout phase. Still, three of their wins have been settled by a narrow one-goal margin, with two of those games ending with the same 1-0 scoreline. Interestingly, though, Sanfrecce were leading at the halftime break in all four of their CL triumphs, opening the scoring inside the first 15 minutes on three occasions. With three clean sheets and just three goals conceded, Sanfre boast competitions’ joint-best defensive record although Hiroshi Jofuku can’t be happy about his team’s attacking output. Even though Hiroshima struggled to score in only one group-stage outing so far, their record of six goals scored could worry the traveling fans.
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