AFC Champions League 2018: Group Stage Matchday Three Review: East Zone

Oscar doubled rescued Shanghai SIPG while Jeonbuk were involved in a nine-goal thriller...

Matchday Three of the the AFC Champions League 2018 saw some exciting matches in the East Zone. Here is a recap: 


Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors 6-3 Tianjin Quanjian (Shin-Wook 24', 60', 64' Kyo-Won 42' Lopes 56' Bo-Kyung 72' - Cheng 10' Xuri 79' Pato 89')

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South Korean side Jeonbuk Hyundai maintained their perfect start to the season by pummelling Tianjin Quanjian 6-3 at home in a free-scoring match, thanks to a hat-trick from Kim Shin-wook. 

But it was the visitors from China who took the lead when right-back Zhang Cheng fired home a volley in the 10th minute. But the home team equalised in the 24th minute when Shin-Wook headed home Lee Yong’s cross. Han Kyo-won then headed the South Koreans ahead just before half-time. Around the hour mark, Jeonbuk just put the game beyond the reach of Tianjin Quanjian by scoring three quick goals. Ricardo Lopes made it 3-1 in the 56th minute before Shin-Wook scored two to complete his hat-trick. 

First he bundled home a finish off his thighs before finishing off Kim Jin-su's cross. Defender Choi Bo-kyung piled ont he misery for the visitors in the 72nd minute with a sixth goal. Though Zhao Xuri and Alexandre Pato reduced the deficit for the Chinese side, it was nothing more than just academic as Jeonbuk went five points clear at the top of the group. 

Kashiwa Reysol 1-0 Kitchee SC (Ito 66')

Japan's Kashiwa Reysol notched their first win of the campaign with a narrow win over Hong Kong's Kitchee SC on Tuesday. 

The tie was uninspiring in the first half with neither team creating any meaningful chance. It was left for substitute Junya Ito to make an impact in the second half with the only goal of the night. 

Masashi Kamekawa worked himself some space before swinging a cross in which was stabbed home by a lurking Ito to hand Kashiwa the lead. The Japanese side held on to the lead comfortably to win their first game. Kitchee SC are yet to notch a point. 



Shanghai SIPG 2-2 Ulsan Hyundai (Oscar 38', 70' - Windbichler 37' In-Sung 68')

China's Shanghai SIPG remained unbeaten in Group F after a 2-2 draw at home to South Korean side Ulsan Hyundai on Wednesday. 

In what turned out to be a topsy-turvy game, Ulsan Hyundai took the lead around the half-hour mark against the run of play. Lee Yeong-jae’s corner in the 37th minute was powered home by Richard Windbichler. However, they were pegged back almost immediately as Oscar drove forward from around 30 yards from goal and scored with a low shot into the bottom corner. 

But Ulsan Hyundai regained their lead in the 68th minute when Lee Myung-jae's low cross from the left was turned in by Kim In-sung at the far post. But two minutes later, Oscar equalised again for Shanghai with a sumptuous curler from the edge of the box. 

The reuslt meant Shanghai remain at the top with seven points from three games while Ulsan Hyundai are second with five points. 

Kawasaki Frontale 2-2 Melbourne Victory (Elsinho 28' Noborizato 55' - Berisha 36' George 90')

Japan's Kawasaki Frontale were held to a 2-2 draw on Wednesday by a late equaliser from Melbourne Victory on Wednesday. 

The home side went ahead in the game, thanks to Brazilian defender Elsinho who finished from the edge of the box before the A-League side equalised in the 36th minute. Besart Berisha poked home Leroy George's corner to pull the visitors level. 

Yu Kobayashi then squared a ball for Kyohei Noborizato to tap into an open net and give Kawasaki the lead again but there was a twist at the end when Christian Theoharous was fouled in the box by Tatsuki Nara, handing Melbourne Victory a penalty. 

Leroy George stroked home the spotkick to hand his side a share of the spoils. 



Buriram United 2-0 Cerezo Osaka (Tunez 2' Edgar 54')

Thailand's Buriram United helped themselves to a vital win by defeating Japan's Cerezo Osaka 2-0 at home on Tuesday. 

Buriram flew out of the blocks and took the lead inside two minutes. Korrakot Wiriya-udomsiri’s inswinging corner was glanced into the net by Andres Tunez. Though Cerezo did work some chances for themselves, Buriram held out to end the first half ahead.

In the 54th minute, they Edgar finished off Jakkaphan Kaewprom's cross from the left to double his side's lead. Though Buriram were reduced to 10 men for the final 15 minutes, they held on valiantly to record a vital win and rise to second on the table with four points. 

Guangzhou Evergrande 5-3 Jeju United (Alan 45+4' Goulart 52', 57', 86', 90+2' - Seong-Uk 20' Cruz 29' Chang-Min 90+3')

Guangzhou Evergrande registered their first win of the AFC Champions League 2018 with a thrilling 5-3 win over South Korea's Jeju United on Tuesday, thanks to a four-goal performance from Ricardo Goulart.

In Guangzhou, it was Jeju United who made the better start by racing into a two-goal lead inside the half-hour mark, thanks to a Jin Seong-uk header and a Magno Cruz strike. But Brazilian striker Alan pulled a goal back for the home team before half-time. 

The second-half was just Ricardo Goulart show all around. He drew Guangzhou level in the 52nd minute after scoring the rebound after Yu had been denied by the Jeju goalkeeper. Four minutes later, he dispatched off a spot-kick to hand Guangzhou the lead. In the 86th minute, he extended their lead by latching on to Gao's pass and finishing past the goalkeeper. In injury-time he scored his fourth with a beautiful chipped finish while Chang-min fired home a consolation for Jeju a minute later. 



Suwon Bluewings 1-1 Shanghai Shenhua (Ki-Je 47' - Moreno 71')

South Korean outfit Suwon Bluewings were held to a 1-1 draw by China's Shanghai Shenhua on Wednesday in a tight Group H clash. 

The game got off to a slow start, with the first half remaining goalless. But the opening goal came in the 47th minute when Suwon's Ki-hun saw his freekick punched out as far as Lee Ki-Je. He proceeded to smash it in from 25 yards. Though the home team seemed to be cruising, Shanghai Shenhua hit back in the 71st minute. 

Aidi Fulang Xisi was fouled by Cristovam and Giovanni Moreno netted the resulting spot-kick to make it 1-1. The result saw Suwon remain second with four points from three games while Shanghai Shenhua have three points from thee games. 

Sydney FC 0-2 Kashima Antlers (Doi 40' Ueda 87')

Kashima Antlers extended their lead atop Group H with a 2-0 win away from home over Sydney FC on Wednesday. 

An under-strength Sydney FC were punished by the Japanese side in the 40th minute when Shoma Doi redirected Yuma Suzuki’s effort into goal past a hapless goalkeeper. Sydney FC efforts to get a goal back were all repelled by the Japanese side who made sure of the result in the 87th minute through Naomichi Ueda. 

Ueda headed in a flick-on from Nagaki's corner to send his side top of the group while Sydney FC remain winless in three outings. 

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