2013 AFC Champions League - Matchday 2 Roundup
Matchday 2 of the 2013 AFC Champions League began in Jeonju on Tuesday and culminated in Riyadh the next day. Here is a round-up of all the action.
A fantastic 40-yard strike by Khamees Esmail gave Emirati club Al Jazira a share of the spoils against Saudi club Al-Shabab. Al Shabab had taken the lead through Hassan Muath in the 44th minute, but 10 minutes into the second half, Khamees sent the home crowd into frenzy with his equalizer.
In Doha, Tractor Sazi took the lead against Qatari side Al Jaish with a Flávio Paixão header in the 24th minute, but Al Jaish equalised through Wagner. Mehdi Syed Salehi got the second for the Iranians 15 mintes later, only for Adriano to level things from the spot. Al Jaish then took control of the match when Wagner scored his second of the night, in the 87th minute, to make the score 3-2. However, substitute Geilson broke Al Jaish hearts with a header in the dying seconds of the game.
Al-Shabab Al-Arabi of the UAE were looking to make up for their opening day loss when they met Uzbekistan’s Pakhtakor at home. Their hopes were killed by Jamshid Iskanderov’s 85th minute winner for the Uzbeks. Pakhtakor are now the only club in the competition with a perfect record and two clean sheets.
Al Ettifaq and their visitors, Lekhwiya, played out a dull 0-0 draw at the Prince Mohammed bin Fahad Stadium in Dammam. This was Lekhwiya’s first away point of the ACL after their disastrous trips away from home last year.
Mercurial striker Emad al-Hosni scored twice to propel his Al-Ahli team to a 2-1 win away to UAE’s Al Nasr. Al Nasr’s new Japanese import, Takayuki Morimoto, had earlier put his team in the lead with a great goal, but Emad struck with two close range finishes to take home the three points for last year’s runners-up. Al Nasr finished with 10 men after their midfielder Leonardo da Silva was sent off.
Al Gharafa’s star striker Djibril Cisse‘s double helped the Qataris to a 3-1 home win over Iran’s Sepahan in the other Group C match. Sepahan had taken the lead through Mohammed Ali Ahmadi, but Cisse and Majdi Siddiq helped Gharafa to a comeback victory.
2003 champions Al Ain were beaten 2-0 by Iran’s Esteghlal at the intimidating Azadi Stadium in Tehran. Al-Ain held their opponents to a goalless stalemate till halftime, but Jlloyd Samuel and Farhad Majidi scored for Esteghlal in the second half. To make matters worse for the Emiratis, wonder kid Omar Abdulrahman was taken off after a suspected knee injury.
Al-Hilal got their first win of the competition after a 3-1 win at home against Qatar’s Al-Rayyan. The match was dominated by the Saudis, but they couldn’t take the lead until the 57th minute. Yasser Al-Qahtani scored from a header and then followed it up with another well-taken goal in the 74th. Rayyan’s Hamed Ismail halved the deficit with a powerful shot from a tight angle five minutes from time, raising hopes of a miraculous comeback. However, it was Hilal who had the last laugh as Al-Shalhoub poked the ball past Bari to score their third, one minute later.
Over in Group E, both matches ended in goalless draws. In the first match, 2009 quarter-finalists FC Seoul could not continue their performance from match day 1 as they were unable to break through Thailand’s Buriram United.
Jiangsu Sainty of China were thrashed 1-5 by FC Seoul in their debut outing, but they bounced back with a well-fought draw with Japan’s Vegalta Sendai, who drew their second consecutive match. Jiangsu had most of the chances, but Sendai keeper Hayashi stood firm to deny them.
Urawa Reds had lost their opening match, but made no mistake this time around as they cruised to a 4-1 win at home to Thai side Muangthong United. Goals from Kashiwagi, Sekiguchi and Haraguchi, and an own goal from Thritthi Nonsrichai, put the match in the bag for the Japanese team before Siaka Dagno got a late consolation for Muangthong.
In the other Group F match, Marcelo Lippi’s Guangzhou Evergrande played out a 1-1 draw away to 2006 champions Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors. Kim Jung Woo gave the lead to the Koreans with a great strike in the 27th minute. However, midway through the second half, Guangzhou’s Muriqui levelled the scores with his second goal of the tournament.
In Group G, 2009 champions Pohang Steelers drew 2-2 away at Uzbek side Bunyodkor. The home side took the lead through Oleksandr Pishur in the 15th minue. Pohang replied with two goals in the space of seven minutes in the second half, courtesy Myeong Ju Lee and Gwang Hoon Lee. It stayed 2-1 until the very last minute, when Kamoliddin Murzaev popped up to score the equaliser.
In the other group game, Sanfrecce Hirsohima lost their second straight game of ACL 2013, this time at the hands of Chinese side Beijing Guoan. Sanfrecce’s Ishihara had scored in the 75th minute to cancel out Lang Zheng’s first half effort; however, Beijing retook the lead through Piang Cheng to seal the win.
Kashiwa Reysol’s Leandro Domingues scored a double to help his side to 3-1 comeback win over Australia’s Central Coast Mariners. The Mariners had taken the lead through Patrick Zwanswijk, but a goal by Kano, sandwiched between two Leandro strikes, gave Kashiwa their second straight win in the tournament.
Debutants Guizou Renhe registered their first ever ACL point when they held Korean giants Suwon Bluewings to a goalless draw at the Suwon World Cup Stadium. Both teams had their fair share of chances, but they failed to convert when it mattered.