AFC Champions League 2018: Group Stage Matchday Six Review: East Zone
Matchday Six of the AFC Champions League 2018 saw eight teams advance from the East Zone. Here is a look at what transpired this week:
Tianjin Quanjian 3-2 Kashiwa Reysol (Xuri 24', 30' Xu 64' - Koizumi 39' Segawa 69')
Chinese outfit Tianjin Quanjian ensured they finished the group stages on a high after a battling 3-2 win over Japan's Kashiwa Reysol on Wednesday.
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Reysol were already out of the reckoning for a spot in the next stage but they started the game well. However, it was the home side who took the lead in the 25th minute when Zhao Xuri's volley was deflected in. He made it 2-0 soon enough when Pato's header was beaten out to him. Kashiwa got a goal back in the 39th minute when Kei Koizumi found Ramon Lopes in space. The Brazilian's shot bounced back off the post and Koizumi knocked it in.
However, Tianjin restored their two-goal advantage when Yang Xu leapt to head home Chu Jinzhao’s cross in the 64th minute. Though Segawa got a goal back for Kashiwa, it could not prevent a defeat. Tianjin qualify as group runners-up.
Jeonbuk Hyundai 3-0 Kitchee SC (Seung-Gi 72' Shin-Wook 79' Seon-Yeong 87')
South Korea's Jeonbuk Hyundai ensured they finished on top of Group E after a 3-0 win over Hong Kong's Kitchee SC on Wednesday.
Jeonbuk were on top right from the start but despite the chances being created, they were unable to force a goal until late in the second half. Kim Shin-Wook headed back Ricardo Lopes' pass to Lee Seung-gi who finished it iff to give the home team the lead. Shin-Wook then glanced in a shot from Lim Seon-yeong to make it 2-0 before Seon-Yeong himself grabbed a third to put some gloss on the result.
Jeonbuk will face Thailand's Buriram United in the Round of 16.
Kawasaki Frontale 2-2 Ulsan Hyundai (Suzuki 2' Hasegawa 43' - Yong-Woo 47' Yeong-Jae 50')
A rousing comeback from Ulsan Hyundai ensured they held Kawasaki Frontale in their final Group F game on Wednesday.
They had already sealed their spot in the Round of 16 but were put under heavy pressure early on. Kawasaki took the lead in the second minute when Manabu Saito saw his shot parried on to the path of Yuto Suzuki, who fired home from 12 yards. In the 43rd minute, Hasegawa picked up a pass before darting in and firing in a deflected shot.
But Ulsan would produce a stunning comeback right after the break. Jeong Jae-yong headed a corner into the path of Park Yong-woo who nodded in before Lee Yeong-jae drilled a shot in the 50th minute to complete the comeback. Ulsan will take on fellow Korean team Suwon Bluewings in the Round of 16.
Melbourne Victory 2-1 Shanghai SIPG (Waring 40' Ingham 68' - Chuangyi 45')
Melbourne Victory got themselves a consolation 2-1 win over Group F toppers Shanghai SIPG on Wednesday.
There was very little to play for in the game, given that the fate of both teams was already sealed. The deadlock was broken in the 40th minute when Melbourne striker Kenny Athiu crossed the ball for Pierce Waring who side footed home. However, Shanghai equalised soon after when Lin Chuangyi finishing a nice move from Elkeson and Lu Wenjun.
After the break, Melbourne continued to press for a goal and got the winner in the 68th minute. Terry Antonis’ floated cross into the box was headed home by Ingham and the A-League team would go on to hold on an take three points to end their campaign on a high.
Guangzhou Evergrande 3-1 Cerezo Osaka (Bowen 6' Alan 57', 87' - Fukumitsu 10')
China's Guangzhou Evergrande sealed a spot in the AFC Champions League knockout stage with a 3-1 win over Japan's Cerezo Osaka at home on Tuesday.
The home made a high-octane start and took the lead in the sixth minute when Huang Bowen fired home. However, their joy was shortlived as Takaki Fukumitsu broke the offside trap and scored to make it 1-1. However, Cerezo Osaka were undone by Brazilian striker Alan who bagged himself a double in the second-half including a poacher's finish which ensured Guangzhou would go through while Cerezo would finish third.
Guangzhou Evergrande will take on Tianjin Quanjian in the Round of 16.
Jeju United 0-1 Buriram United (Wiriya-Udomsiri 54')
Thailand's Buriram United qualified for the Round of 16 after a 1-0 win over Koera's Jeju United on Tuesday.
Buriram needed a win and Cerezo to lose to progress to the next stage and they started well. Both teams had chances to take the lead in the first half but some committed defending meant the teams headed into the half-time break level.
Buriram took the lead in the 55th minute when Diogo found Sasalak Haiprakhon with a neat back heel. Sasalak then found Korrakot Wiriyaudomsiri who finished to make it 1-0. With Cerezo losing in the other game, Buriram held on to ensure they progressed to the next stage.
They will take on Jeonbuk Hyundai in the next stage.