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FC Seoul and Al Nasr inch closer to Champions League semis

FC Seoul players react after losing their Asian Champions League soccer semi-final game against the Western Sydney Wanderers at Parramatta Stadium October 1, 2014. REUTERS/David Gray/Files
FC Seoul players react after losing their Asian Champions League soccer semi-final game against the Western Sydney Wanderers at Parramatta Stadium October 1, 2014. REUTERS/David Gray/Files
Reuters

(Reuters) - FC Seoul and Al Nasr inched closer to a place in the semi-finals of the AFC Champions League following comprehensive victories in their respective quarter-final first leg matches on Wednesday.

Playing in front of their home crowd, former finalists FC Seoul defeated China's Shandong Luneng 3-1 to make sure they will be in the box seat to advance when the teams meet again on Sept. 14 at the Jinan Olympic Sports Centre.

Montenegro striker Dejan Damjanovic headed home to open the account for Seoul before Park Chu-young added a second on the half-hour.

Walter Montillo pulled one back before the break for Shandong, but Adriano's tournament-leading 12th goal sealed an easy win for the hosts.

"This is just the end of the first half," said Hwang Sun-hong, who replaced Choi Yong-soo as FC Seoul coach in June.

"The second leg will be a difficult and different game and we will have to stay focused and be at our best to get the result we need. There is still a long way to go."

Al Nasr also boosted the prospects of reaching their first-ever AFC Champions League semi-finals after a 3-0 away win at El Jaish's Abdullah Bin Khalifa Stadium.

Brazilian Wanderley scored once in each half and Burkina Faso international Jonathan Pitroipa scored the other goal in an emphatic display by the Emirati club.

"Maybe we have a small advantage from today's game, but in Dubai it will be very decisive as to who can go through to the semi-finals," coach Ivan Jovanovic said after the match.

In other matches, inaugural champions Al Ain and Lokomotiv played out a goalless draw, as did Shanghai SIPG and Korean champions Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors.

The stalemates mean the Sept. 13 return fixtures will determine which two teams advance to the semi-finals.

(Reporting by Amlan Chakraborty in New Delhi; editing by Sudipto Ganguly)


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Edited by Staff Editor

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