Muscat 'very positive' despite defeat

13 March 2019 07:59:42 EST

Kevin Muscat praised his Melbourne Victory side for sticking to their guns after conceding an early goal in their 2-1 Asian Champions League loss to Sanfrecce Hiroshima.

The defending A-League champions were beaten by an 86th-minute goal from Daiki Watari in their Group F clash, leaving them bottom of the table without a point after two games.

But their coach was proud of the way his team played against the Japanese side.

"To come to Japan, dominate the football game, dominate possession, dominate the play and be the more aggressive team is very pleasing," he said.

"Sometimes the performance, you're not rewarded with the result, but to perform against a team here in Japan the way we did was very positive."

Victory made a poor start to the game, with Shunki Higashi netting in the third minute.

But Muscat said: "That didn't stop us from playing a brand of football and taking the football to the opposition, trying to attack the opposition, keeping possession of the football."

Victory had almost 65 per-cent of the possession, and drew level when Keisuke Honda scored his seventh goal of the season.

Muscat said: "There were long periods...where we kept Sanfrecce in their own half for long periods, created many, many opportunities, many, many chances, with exciting football.

"We conceded in the first three minutes and the last three minutes so it's difficult emotions at this point."

Korean side Daegu FC, who beat Victory 3-1 in Melbourne in their first game, are top of Group F with six points while Sanfrecce and Guangzhou Evergrande both have a win and a loss from their first two matches.

Victory will need to pick up points from their two games next month against Guangzhou - they go to China on 10th April and host them at AAMI Park on 13th April.

Melbourne Victory are 3/1 to win the A-League Grand Final.

Victory are 2/7 to win their next game against Brisbane Roar, who are 10/1 with the draw 19/4.

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