Get to know a little more about Melbourne Victory’s first opponent in the AFC Champions League Group Stage, Chiangrai United.
Victory is preparing to kick off its AFC Champions League campaign, following a dramatic play-off win in Japan against Kashima Antlers.
Melbourne secured qualification for the eighth time in its history thanks to Andrew Nabbout’s 54th minute strike and some Lawrence Thomas heroics.
On Tuesday night at Melbourne Rectangular Stadium, Victory hosts Chiangrai United on Match Day 1 of the competition.
Melbourne Victory v Chiangrai United
Melbourne Rectangular Stadium
Tuesday, February 11
Kick-off: 7:35pm (AEDT)
How did Chiangrai qualify?
In 2019, Chiangrai lifted the Thai League One title for the first time in the club’s 11-year history.
As a result, the newly-crowned champions gained automatic qualification for the group stage of the AFC Champions League.
Chiangrai will be competing in the competition for the first time in 2020 – having suffered play-off defeats to Shanghai SIPG and Sanfrecce Hiroshima in 2018 and 2019.
Brazilian forward, Bill tallied 14 goals in 2019 and nine the season prior – making him the club’s top scorer for the previous two seasons. The veteran has played for a number of clubs across the world, including Santos, Corinthians and Al-Ittihad.
20-year-old Ekanit Panya, created more goals than any other player for Chiangrai in 2019. The youngster is considered to be one of Thailand’s top prospects for the future and has already made five appearances for the national team.
Chiangrai is unbeaten in its last five competitive matches – one of which was the Thailand Champions Cup Final.
The club’s 2020 domestic season commences this weekend with a trip to Samut Prakan City.
Last five competitive results:
Chiangrai United 2 – 0 Port MTI FC (Champions Cup Final)
Suphanburi 2 – 5 Chiangrai United
Chiangrai United 4 – 1 Prachuap
PTT Rayong 2 – 2 Chiangrai United
Bangkok United 1 – 1 Chiangrai United