Georgievski believes ACL glory is in reach for Victory

Melbourne Victory defender Daniel Georgievski said this year’s AFC Champions League is so open his team have a glorious opportunity to go all the way if they can just get the job done in a crucial game on the road against Jeonbuk Motors.

Georgievski

Source: Getty Images

But it’s going to be very difficult, which is why Victory could justifiably look to going very deep into the tournament if they do advance from the round of 16. Achieving the right result under enormous pressure in hostile territory would give them untold confidence.  


Victory will play the Korean team in a round of 16, second leg game at Jeonju World Cup Stadium on Tuesday. They drew 1-1 in the first leg at AAMI Park. 

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Conceding a goal at home obviously makes it tough for Victory, but the fact they are a team that likes to play a proactive brand of football and take the game to the opposition should help them in a situation like this. 


“The Champions  League is a very different challenge to what the players have been used to, playing in the A-League,” Georgievski told The World Game.

“There are definitely two different playing styles you come up against in the two competitions. 


“We play our own style no matter what, but the opposition in the Champions League is much different to A-League teams. 




“It’s good that we can compete in both competitions quite well. It’s good to find out we’re not off the pace. We’re up to their level and even better than a lot of teams so far.” 


Chinese powerhouse Guangzhou Evergrande, which won the ACL in 2013 and again last year, failed to make it beyond the group stage in this year’s tournament. 


Top Korean club FC Seoul, which made the ACL final in 2013 and the semi-finals the following year, clearly won their group but are trailing 1-0 going into the second leg of their round of 16 tie against Japanese club Urawa Red Diamonds. Urawa finished second to Sydney FC in their group. 


There appear to be a number of teams with a genuine chance of being crowned champions and Georgievski felt that if Victory could rescue this tie and advance to the quarter-finals they could look ahead with great belief. 


“The results just go to show that every country is developing and every country is getting their levels up higher,” Georgievski said.

“It’s a much more open competition this year. 




“I thought the same as everyone else before it started, that the big clubs with the big budgets and the bigger players were going to shine. You expect them to. 


“The Champions League in the last several years has been automatic for big clubs like Guangzhou to do very well, but it’s definitely more open this year and that makes the competition more exciting for us as players. 


“You get some teams that are more compact and perform better as a group and some of the bigger clubs have fallen out of the competition against them.” 


Victory flew out of Melbourne early on Saturday to give themselves enough time to recover from the travel and be ready to play. It is obviously a much better preparation than if they were playing in an A-League game on the weekend and had to travel after that. 


“You never start to feel good after a long flight until you’ve had that first good sleep,” Georgievski said. “And getting here a day or two earlier than we might have if we’d had an A-League game on the weekend helps a lot. 


“We’re not going to be tired. We’re not looking at having to make this trip as a negative thing.” 


Georgievski said Victory had worked hard on finding a way to break down Jeonbuk in the return leg. 


“They’re very disciplined  and very aggressive and whenever they get all 11 men behind the ball they’re very effective in that area as well,” he said.  “Their work-rate was tremendous in the first leg. 


“That’s actually pretty similar to how we play as well, but we believe we have better qualities individually. We were disappointed to concede a goal at home, but we believe there are things we can try to implement in the second game that can help us move on in the tournament.”




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4 min read
Published 22 May 2016 at 4:43pm
By Greg Prichard