China watch - Asian Champions League Match Day 3
One Chinese team suffered a loss, while the other free remain undefeated in the Asian Champions League so far10 March 2018 | Johnson Zhang
There were goals galore in the four matches played by Chinese teams in the Asian Champions League matches, with a hat-trick to Jeonbuk Hyundai's Kim Shin-Wook and four goals to Guangzhou Evergrande's Ricardo Goulart (main picture).
Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors v Tianjin Quanjian, 6-3
What a game! A nine goal festival in which Tianjin Quanjian opened the scoring via a spectacular goal outside the area by Zhang Cheng in the 10th minute. At the 24th minute, Jeonbuk fought back to score an equaliser at 1-1 courtesy of Kim Shin-Wook’s brilliant header. Before half time at 42nd minute, Quanjian trailed 2-1 via another spectacular header goal, this time from Han Kyo-Won.
At the 56th minute, Quanjian trailed 3-1 via an easy tap in goal from Ricardo Lopes Pereira. Disaster struck minutes later when they trailed 6-1 at 72 minutes via amazing goals from Kim Shin-Wook who completed his hat trick at 64 minutes and a simple one from Choi Bo-Kyung who saw the defence gap spread out at Quanjian, much to the delight of small crowd of 8, 631 at Jeonju World Cup Stadium.
To their credit, Quanjian never gave up and clawed back to a 6-3 loss via the 79th minute goal scored by Zhao Xuri from the corner and 89th minute penalty goal scored by Alexandre Pato. He and the other two foreign players (Anthony Modeste and Axel Witsel) had a rare off night in which Jeonbuk simply outclassed them and their rest of their teammates. This marked the first loss of the ACL campaign for Tianjin Quanjian.
Their next two matches will be played at home. First, it is their round 2 match of Chinese Super League 2018 campaign against the newly promoted team of Beijing Renhe at Tianjin Olympic Center Stadium on Saturday. They face Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors again on Wednesdday in which they will no doubt want to avenge their 6-3 defeat.
Guangzhou Evergrande v Jeju United, 5-3
Much to the delight of the crowd of 37, 693 at Tianhe Stadium, Guangzhou Evergrande recorded their first win of the Asian Champions League 2018 campaign after two consecutive draws.
Evergrande trailed 0-2 after 29 minutes via goals scored by Jin Seong-Wook and Magno Cruz. Evergrande then mounted a comeback with goals scored by Alan in extra time in the first half from a corner, and Ricardo Goulart equalised at the 52nd minute and put Evergrande ahead five minutes later with a penalty.
Goulart went on to score twice more to bag four goals, while Jeju United scored their third in the 93rd minute, one minute after Evergrande's fifth. The team is now top of the table in Group G with one win and two draws from three matches.
Evergrande meet Changchun Yatai in their round 2 clash of the Chinese Super League 2018, followed by the return match against Jeju United at Jeju World Cup Stadium.
Suwon Samsung Bluewings v Shanghai Shenhua, 1-1
In front of a disappointing crowd of 3, 904 at Suwon World Cup Stadium, Shanghai Shenhua managed to escape with another draw away from home. A sloppy first half summarised play, with it obvious Shenhua was missing some of their star players, such as Giovanni Moreno and Qin Sheng, due to their minor injuries.
A few minutes into the second half, Shenhua trailed 1-0 due to a fantastic long range goal from a familiar face - Lee Ki-Je who played with Newcastle Jets briefly. A smart pass from Wang Yun at the 69th minute found Eddy Francis who came a long way from his own half to retrieve the ball and was fouled in the penalty box by Cristovam who protested with the referee that it should not be a penalty. Much to the disappointment of Suwon fans, the referee thought otherwise. Giovanni Moreno then scored a coolly taken goal at the 71st minute to level the scores at 1-1, his second goal of the ACL campaign.
Despite the lacklustre first half, this match had everything in the second half with both teams going at each other to find the way to score a late goal for a match winner, to no avail.
Shanghai Shenhua's next two games will be played at home, first against their bitter rivals, Shanghai SIPG, in the Shanghai Derby in the Chinese Super League, followed by the Suwon Bluewings again for their ACL clash on Tuesday.
Shanghai SIPG v Ulsan Hyundai, 2-2
An entertaining 2-2 draw against Ulsan Hyundai brought an end to Shanghai SIPG’s winning start to the ACL 2018 campaign at Shanghai Stadium in front of 20, 757 people.
Even though the home side started well, they trailed in the 37th minute thanks to a fantastic corner delivery from Lee Yeong-Jae to find Richard Windbichler with a spectacular header. This lead did not last long because SIPG had an instant reply one minute later through Oscar’s long range goal to level the scores at 1-1. SIPG went behind again via a fantastic pass from Lee Myung-Jae to find Kim In-Sung for a simple tap-in goal in the 68th minute, only for SIPG to fight back again two minutes later via another fantastic goal - a long range chip from Oscar, much to the delight of SIPG fans. Unfortunately for the crowd of 20,757, there were no late match heroics to score a late winner, so the match finished a pulsating 2-2 draw.
Shanghai SIPG play in the Shanghai Derby on Saturday, and then travel away to play Ulsan Hyundai again on Tuesday.
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