AFC Champions League: Kofu and Melbourne City share spoils in six-goal thriller in Tokyo

Yoshiki Torikai dazzled in an opening 45 minutes that saw 3 goals with Melbourne coming into the game strongly in the second half.

AFC Champions League: Kofu and Melbourne City share spoils in six-goal thriller in Tokyo

Japanese campaigners Ventforet Kofu shared the spoils in a 3-3 contest with Melbourne City FC in the 2023/24 AFC Champions League on Wednesday night at the Japan National Stadium.

Callum Talbot carved out the opening goal for the Australians after negotiating for space into the box on the 5th minute mark.

Celebrations were cut short as Shion Inoue outsmarted his marker to head a cut back cross into the net for Kofu on the 8th minute.

Forward Kazushi Mitsuhira should have put Kofu in the driving seat on the 13th minute mark when skipper Masahiru Sekiguchi darted a perfectly timed pass to his path inside the Melbourne box. However, the forward mistimed his run and missed the chance.

Kofu continued to create more decent opportunities as the opening half continued with Sota Muira dancing his way past 4 Melbourne defenders before sending a teasing cross into the area which was narrowly missed.

Yoshiki Torikai became a nightmare and a tormentor for the Melbourne defenders as he ripped them apart with his high quality technical displays. The No.18 impressively zigzagged his motions to create spaces and beat approaching defenders.

The magic of Yoshiki Torikai prevailed around the 43rd minute as he outmuscled his marker with the expression of brute force and acrobatic verve to dink the ball over the Melbourne goalkeeper.

The 25-year-old was at it again as he laid a defense-splitting pass to Nigerian Peter Utaka. The 39-year-old applied a great body swerve to beat his marker and returned the ball to Mitsuhira. The offensive player sent a volley just wide as the referee brought the opening half to a close after the two additional minutes petered out.

VAR was called into action on the 56th minute after a Kofu player handled the ball inside the box. German Togay Arslan sent the Kofu keeper the wrong way to level the scoring on the 58th minute.

Melbourne went ahead once more with Croatian Marin Jakolis scoring from inside the box.

Melbourne goalkeeper Jamie Young dived with a feline agility to stop a rocket-propelled strike from Riku Iijima inside the 81st minute.

The equaliser arrived on the 86th minute for the home side when substitute Junma Miyazaki headed home a hanging cross.