FC Tokyo, Jeonbuk win in Asian Champions League
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) -FC Tokyo is on the verge of reaching the last 16 of the Asian Champions League after beating Beijing Guoan 3-0 on Tuesday, and South Korean champion Jeonbuk Motors kept its hopes alive with a 3-2 comeback win over Buriram United of Thailand.
FC Tokyo's Kazuma Watanabe opened the scoring in the seventh minute and Yohei Otake and Tatsuya Yazawa added second-half goals.
"We were missing several from our first team but we were still able to produce a good performance,'' Tokyo coach Ranko Popovic Popovic said. "What this means is that there is still plenty of potential in Japan waiting to be discovered.''
Ulsan Hyundai beat Australian winner Brisbane Roar 2-1 to join FC Tokyo as the only unbeaten teams in Group F.
In South Korea, Cameroon striker Franck Ohandza scored the first of his two goals to give Burriram the advantage in the 20th minute. But Jeonbuk's Lee Dong-gook scored twice to give his club the halftime lead.
Ohandza drew Burriram level in the 50th minute. But Park Won-jae secured victory in the 80th minute to put Jeonbuk in second place in Group H, above Burriram on head-to-head record only and one point behind Guangzhou Evergrande.
Guangzhou Evergrande beat J-League champ Kashiwa Reysol 3-1 to take top spot, but only three points seperate first from last.
"The upcoming games against Guangzhou and Kashiwa will be good matches and will give us a chance to gain revenge, and we have to win these two matches,'' said Jeonbuk coach Lee Heung-sil, whose side lost 5-1 to both the Chinese and Japanese champions.
Argentine midfielder Dario Leonardo Conca opened the scoring for Guangzhou in the 29th minute, only for Kashiwa to equalize through Hiroki Sakai in the 50th minute. Brazilian striker Muriqui then struck in the 58 and 84th minutes to help Guanzghou continue its surprising run in the tournament.
"Today in the second half we made some changes and created open space and we took advantage of this. If we had not worked harder after the equalizer the result would have been different,'' Guangzhou coach Lee Jang-soo said.
A penalty from captain Kwak Tae-hwi was the difference as Ulsan Hyundai edged out Brisbane Roar.
Ulsan took the lead after 11 minutes when Estiven Juan took advantage of Roar midfielder Mitch Nichols conceding possession just outside his own penalty area, the Colombian midfielder beating goalkeeper Michael Theoklitos at his near post.
Shane Stefanutto drew Brisbane level in the 26th. But Bahrain defender Sayed Mohamed Adnan upended Kang Min-soo inside the area, allowing Kwak to convert the penalty in the 73rd minute for the win.
In the late matches, Piroozi Athletic of Iran remained on track to advance out of Group D after a 1-1 draw against 10-man Al Gharafa of Qatar. Ali Karimi put the Iranians on top in the 84th minute but Ghana midfielder Lawrence Quaye salvaged a draw for Al Gharafa with a stoppage-time equalizer.
A brace from Youssef El Arabi helped Al Hilal of Saudi Arabia come from a goal down to beat Al Shabab of the United Arab Emirates 2-1 in the other Group D encounter. Piroozi now leads the group with Al Hilal four points behind in second.
In Group B, Pakhtakor of Uzbekistan kept its campaign alive with a 1-0 win over winless Al Arabi of Qatar. Group B leaders Al-Ittihad of Saudi Arabia played to a 0-0 draw against Bani Yas of the United Arab Emirates.
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