Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Champions League 2017 saw the second round fixtures in Group G & H take place on Wednesday with a historic result for Eastern SC while Gamba Osaka were upset by Jeju United who got their first win in the tournament since 2011.
Let's take a closer look at what happened on Wednesday:-
Suwon Samsung Bluewings 2-2 Guangzhou Evergrande [Santos 15’ Johnathan 32’ - Goulart 24’ Alan 81’]
Two-time winners Guangzhou Evergrande battled their way to a 2-2 draw away to Suwon Bluewings in a Group G encounter on Wednesday.
In what turned out to be a see-saw first half, the home side took the lead in the 15th minute through their Brazilian forward Santos headed home a corner. But the lead was quickly cancelled out by a stunning volley from the edge of the area by Guangzhou’s Richard Goulat in the 24th minute. Suwon winger Johnathan restored their advantage eight minutes later when he expertly finished off a well-rehearsed corner routine.
Johnathan would go on to hit the crossbar with a header soon and it looked like the hosts would go on to claim full points. But, Guangzhou’s Alan capitalised on a botched clearance and curved a finish home from just inside the area to give Luis Felipe Scolari’s side a share of the spoils.
Guangzhou now lead the group with 4 points while Suwon are second with just two points.
Eastern SC 1-1 Kawasaki Frontale [Bleda 14’ - Itakura 52’]
Hongkong’s Eastern SC, managed by history-making female coach Chan Yuen-ting, held Japanese outfit Kawasaki Frontale 1-1 at home to notch their first-ever point in the AFC Champions League.
Eastern SC, playing their first ever Champions League game at home, got off to a good start when the referee sent off Kawasaki’s Tatsuki Nara for bringing down Manuel Bleda inside the box in the 14th minute. After Nara was shown a red card for his efforts, the Spanish forward duly converted the spotkick to send the home fans into raptures.
The scores remained intact till the 52nd minute when the fancied Japanese outfit pulled a goal back. Ko Itakura responded well to a flicked ball in behind the defence and slid in to knock it past an advancing Eastern goalkeeper. But, an anticipated winner from the Japanese side failed to materialise as Eastern held on to notch a memorable draw. Moreover, Kawasaki midfielder Rhayner was sent off in injury time for a second bookable offence as they finished the game with nine-men. The result sees Kawasaki in the third position with two points while Eastern are bottom of the group with a point.
Jiangsu Suning FC 2-1 Adelaide United [Teixeira 14’ 72’ - Babalj 90+2’]
A brace from Alex Teixeira gave Chinese Super League outfit Jiangsu Suning FC a 2-1 win over A-League side Adelaide United in a Group H encounter on Wednesday.
The former Shakhtar Donetsk man opened the scoring in the 14th minute when he turned in a rebound after Ramires’ effort was palmed away by the Adelaide goalkeeper Daniel Margush. This was after Li Ang was denied by the crossbar minutes earlier as Jiangsu deservedly led at half-time.
In the 72nd minute, Jiangsu’s efforts were rewarded by the second goal when Teixeira embarked on a mazy run down the left wing. He foxed a defender and entered the penalty area before slotting the ball between the legs of the goalkeeper from a tight angle.
Though Eli Babalj scored a consolation in injury time for the Australian team, it all proved to be too late as they succumbed to consecutive defeats in Group H. Jiangsu, meanwhile, are in pole position with six points.
Gamba Osaka 1-4 Jeju United [Ademilson 89’ - Endo (OG) 44’ Chang-Min 45+1’, 72’ Toscano 51’]
In what turned out to be a ruthless performance, Korean side Jeju United beat Gamba Osaka resoundingly at the Suita City stadium on Wednesday.
The Koreans dictated proceedings right from the outset but had to wait till the end of first half to get their just rewards. The first goal arrived in fortuitous circumstances in the 44th minute. An inswinging freekick was headed into his own net by Yasuhito Endo. Immediately after. Lee Chang-Min fired in a grounder from outside the area to double Jeju United’s lead before half-time.
Following the break, the pattern of the game was not altered and Jeju continued to pose problems for Gamba, who were outstanding in their opening game of the group but could not channel any of that fluidity on Wednesday.
In the 51st minute, Marcelo Toscano scored the away side’s third goal when he redirected a shot going off target from close range. There was more woe for the Japanese side in the 72nd minute when Lee Chang-Min scored a beautiful lob from 40 yards out with the goalkeeper well off his line.
Gamba Osaka got a consolation goal when Ademilson was brought down inside the area in the 89th minute. The Brazilian converted the spotkick but that was not enough to stop Jeju United occupy the second spot in the group over Gamba by virtue of a better goal difference.