Macau: Carlos Leonel bagged a brace as Benfica Macau came from two goals down to ensure a memorable AFC Cup debut following a 3-2 victory over fellow newcomers Hang Yuen FC in Group I at Macau Olympic Stadium on Wednesday.
The match was not only the first in the competition for the two sides, but also the first time both Macau and Chinese Taipei had been represented in the AFC Cup.
And it was the visitors who started the brighter with Yu Chia Huang firing just wide from inside the box after racing onto Chen Ching Hsuan’s flick-on.
Hang Yuen then took the lead just before the 20-minute mark when Lin Shih Kai’s cross from the left was headed home by Chen for his side’s first ever goal in the competition.
Chen then doubled his and Hang Yuen’s tally 11 minutes before the interval after Jean-Marc Alexandre found Hsu Yi, whose low centre from the left was finished off by the striker.
Benfica came out full of purpose after the restart and pulled one back in the 49th minute when Gilchrist Nguema drilled into the back of the net from just inside the box after the Hang Yuen defence failed to clear Chan Man’s long throw-in from the right.
Leonel could have levelled the scores soon after but saw his effort cleared off the line by Liu Yung Fu, before the forward did get on the scoresheet by heading home substitute David’s Tetteh’s cross from the right just after the hour.
Three minutes later Leonel added another when he bundled home Edgar Teixeira’s corner from close in, and the striker then could have scored his hat-trick in the final five minutes but shot just wide after being picked out by a long ball over the top from Chan.
Benfica’s next task will be a trip to DPR Korea to take on Hwaebul SC in seven days’ time, while Hang Yuen will welcome 4.25 SC, also from DPR Korea, to Taipei.
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