Stallion-Laguna opens AFC Cup with 5-2 loss
MANILA, Philippines–Stallion-Laguna absorbed a 5-2 beating by Indonesian side Bali United as its maiden foray in the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Cup got off on a wrong foot Wednesday at Binan Football Stadium.
Despite equalizing in the first half courtesy of Junior Sam, Stallion had no answer for the scoring rampage of Bali United, which scored four consecutive times to turn what began as a back-and-forth battle into a one-sided finish.
Haudi Abdillah, Mohammed Rashid, Rahmat and Ilija Spasojevic scored in succession to give Bali United a comfortable win.
A late goal by defender Abe Placito served as a consolation for a Stallion side that played its first-ever continental match before a very sparse crowd of 350.
The Horsemen will next face Australian club Central Coast Mariners in their first away match in Group G on Oct. 4.
Spasojevic put Bali United ahead in the 27th but the lead lasted just two minutes as Sam tied things up with a close-range effort into the far side of the net as Stallion scored for the first time in Asia’s second-tier club competition.
But Bali United got the lead back on Haudi’s goal in the 33rd. The visitors almost doubled the lead but Stallion keeper Hayeson Pepito stopped Spasojevic’s attempt from the spot.
Stallion also failed to convert its penalty attempt when Finn McDaniel’s shot was denied by Bali keeper Maringa before the halftime break.
Rashid’s goal in the 53rd launched Bali’s breakaway in the second half as Rahmat struck a fourth in the 69th before Spasojevic completed a brace in the 72nd.