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

Kashima Antlers and Tianjin Quanjian advanced to the next phase while Buriram United kept their hopes still alive...

Matchday Five of the the AFC Champions League 2018 saw some exciting games in the East Zone. Here is a recap of what happened: 

GROUP E:

Kitchee SC 0-1 Tianjin Quanjian (Modeste 89')

Chinese outfit Tianjin Quanjian advanced to the knockout stages of the AFC Champions League after a 1-0 win over Hong Kong's Kitchee SC on Wedensday. 

In front of a capacity crowd at the Mong Kok Stadium, it was the visitors who began brightly. They created several chances but could not take the lead as Axel Witsel missed a chance. Diego Forlan forced a save from the Tianjin goalkeeper as well. 

Kitchee came out with more attacking intent in the second half but the Chinese side would find the winner late on through Anthony Modeste. A long throw in was not dealt with and the ball found its way to Modeste who slotted home to send his side through and eliminate Kitchee SC. 

Kashiwa Reysol 0-2 Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors (Lopes 16' Dong-Gook 77')

Jeonbuk Hyundai motored to  a 2-0 away win against Kashiwa Reysol on Wednesday in a Group E encounter. 

It was Kashiwa who began well in front of their fans but Jeonbuk took the lead in the 16th minute. Brazilian Ricardo Lopes hit the post initially with a shot but had the presence of mind to turn the rebound home. Though Kashiwa toiled hard for an equaliser, it was not forthcoming. 

Jeonbuk went on to seal the match with a secon goal in the 77th minute. Lee Dong-Gook got the ball after a scramble inside the box and turned it home with a superb finish. 

The result meant that Kashiwa's chances of reaching the knockout stages have been put to rest. 

 

GROUP F:  

Ulsan Hyundai 6-2 Melbourne Victory (Negao 12', 67' Jong-Eun 20' Orsic 38', 75' Seung-Jun 55' - Athiu 72' Barbarouses 74')

Ulsan Hyundai confirmed their spot in the 2018 AFC Champions League knockout stages with a comprehensive 6-2 win over Melbourne Victory on Wednesday.

The home team took the lead in the 12th minute through Junior Negrao who blocked the goalkeeper's clearance and saw the ball bounce into the net. Lim Jong-eun poked home Hwang Il-su's cross in te 20th minute to make it 2-0 before before Orsic added a third just over five minutes before half-time. 

Kim Seung-jun got in on the fun in the 55th minute before Negrao completed his brace with a simple header after a perfect cross from Lee Myung-jae. Though Melbourne pulled two quick goals back through Kenny Athiu and Kosta Barbarouses, Orsic netted his second to make it 6-2 and send his team through.  

Shanghai SIPG 1-1 Kawasaki Frontale (Elkeson 68' - Chinen 74')

Shanghai SIPG secured top spot in Group F with a 1-1 draw against Japan's Kawasaki Frontale on Wednesday. 

The match got off to a slow start but there was some drama in the 21st minute when Odil Ahmedov was brought down inside the area and Shanghai were awarded a spotkick. However, star forward Hulk missed his effort. 

The breakthrough eventually came for Shanghai in the 68th minute as Elkeson finished off a wonderfully worked move by Hulk and Oscar. But the away side got an equaliser after just six minutes when Kei Chinen headed in from close range and the match ended level. 

 

GROUP G: 

Buriram United 1-1 Guangzhou Evergrande (Jun-Su 90+2' - Long 20')

Thailand's Buriram United drew 1-1 with Chinese side Guangzhou Evergrande to ensure Group G is still wide open going into the final matchday. 

The visitors had the better of the early exchanges and they deservedly took the lead in the 20th minute through Zheng Long. He drilled home from the edge of the area after being teed up by Ricardo Goulart. Buriram were unable to summon an equaliser for the rest of the first half. 

Guangzhou were dominating the game but were denied by goalkeeper Sivarak Tedsungnoen. Late into injury time, however, Buriram struck a dramatic equaliser through Yoo Jun-soo to ensure a point. 

Buriram are third in the group with six points while Guangzhou top the group with nine. 

Cerezo Osaka 2-1 Jeju United (Katayama 16' Kakitani 34' - Seong-Uk 90+2')

Japanese outfit Cerezo Osaka handed themselves a huge boost by beating Jeju United 2-1 at home on Tuesday. 

Cerezo were on the money right from kick-off and got a deserved lead in the 16th minute. Eiichi Katayama arrived late in the box to poke home Atomu Tanaka's corner. They would go on to make it 2-0 in the 34th minute when Yoichiro Kakitan tapped home after good work by Takaki Fukumitsu and Kazuya Yamamura on the right. 

Jin Seong-uk's bullet header late on in injury time would only be a consolation for an already-eliminated Jeju United. 

 

GROUP H:

Suwon Bluewings 1-4 Sydney FC (Damjanovic 24' - Ninkovic 23' Brosque 31' Mierzejewski 79' Bobo 90+1')

South Korea's Suwon Bluewings were handed a heavy 4-1 defeat at home by A-League outfit Sydney FC on Tuesday. 

Sydney needed a win badly to stay alive in the competition and took the lead in the 23rd minute through Milos Ninkovic who ghosted in behind the defenders and chipped a delightful ball from Mierzejewski over the goalkeeper. However, Dejan Damjanovic hit back immediately to make it 1-1. However, a defensive lapse saw Alex Brosque make it 2-1 before half-time. 

Though Suwon came out with intent post the break, Mierzejewski made it 3-1 in the 79th minute when he was played through on goal. Brazilian striker Bobo put the icing on the cake when he added a fourth in stoppage time to secure a memorable win for the Sky Blues. They are now third on the group, two points off Suwon. 

Shanghai Shenhua 2-2 Kashima Antlers (Moreno 13' Jianquing 28' - Suzuki 58' Leandro 63')

Kashima Antlers staged a come-from-behind performance to earn a 2-2 draw in a Group H encounter against Shanghai Shenhua on Tuesday. 

It was the home side who dominated the first half. They took the lead as early as in the 13th minute when Obafemi Martins was fouled inside the Kashima box. Giovanni Moreno  made no mistake with the spotkick. Mao Jianqing then made it 2-0 when he headed home from Fredy Guarin’s corner just before the half hour mark. 

However, the seocnd half was another story altogether. Yuma Suzuki tapped home in the 58th minute after Leo Silva’s shot deflected perfectly into his path. Five minutes later, they had the equaliser. Suzuki's deft chip to the back post found Leandro who slammed a shot home. The result means Shenhua have been eliminated while Kashima Antlers are through.