Ten-man Jeonbuk stun champions Guangzhou
Go Moo-yul (C) of South Korea's Pohang Steelers celebrates with his teammates after scoring at the Jinan Olympic Sports Centre in Jinan, northeast China's Shandong province on April 2, 2014
Guangzhou entered the Group G match at the Jeonju World Cup Stadium with a 12-match unbeaten run in the competition, and a chance to claim a place in the knockout rounds with a victory over their hosts.
Their hopes were boosted when the Korean side, who won the tournament in 2006, had Jung Hyuk sent off midway through the second half after the midfielder received his second booking of the game.
But, with 14 minutes remaining, Lee Jae-sung spotted Leonardo's run, and lofted a fine through pass to the Brazilian—who met it on the edge of the Guangzhou box with a side-footed volley that gave goalkeeper Zeng Cheng no chance.
The victory saw Jeonbuk draw level with Guangzhou with seven points, although the Chinese side lead the group because of their better record in the head-to-head matches between the two sides following their 3-1 win over Jeonbuk in southern China two weeks ago.
Guangzhou and Jeonbuk have a three-point advantage over Yokohama F.Marinos and Melbourne Victory after the Japanese side claimed their first win in the group with a 3-2 triumph over the Australian club at the Yokohama International Stadium.
Beaten 1-0 in Melbourne a fortnight ago, F.Marinos began the return match badly as James Troisi converted from the penalty spot in the seventh minute after Shingo Hyodo had tugged back Jason Geria.
But the home side turned things around with a pair of goals in five minutes midway through the half. Sho Ito equalised with a clever chip in the 21st minute, and Kosuke Nakamachi then tucked away a loose ball shortly afterwards to put the Japanese side ahead.
Hyodo made amends for giving away the penalty by firing home F.Marinos’ third in the 89th minute, a goal that would prove decisive as James Jeggo found the net for the Australian side in added time.
Korean champions Pohang Steelers opened up a three-point lead at the top of Group E with a 4-2 away win over Chinese side Shandong Luneng in Jinan.
Go Moo-yul put the visitors ahead against the run of play in the 35th minute at Jinan Olympic Sports Centre, and a fine display of counter-attacking football saw the 2009 champions pull away after the break with goals by Kim Tae-soo in the 65th minute and Kim Seung-dae seven minutes later, before Liu Binbin deflected a shot into his own net in the 83rd minute.
Late goals by Du Wei and Han Peng gave some respectability to the score for Shandong, who fell to second place after their first defeat in the group.
Shandong are level on points with Cerezo Osaka, after the Japanese club came from two goals down to draw 2-2 with Buriram United in Thailand.
In Group A Saudi Arabia’s Al Shabab jumped to the top of the table with a convincing 2-0 win over Qatar’s Al Rayyan who are still winless after four matches.
Essa al-Mehyani put the Saudi side ahead in the seventh minute thanks to an assist from Rafinha and although the Al Rayyan defence held firm after that, they couldn’t prevent Hassan Fallatah from sneaking in Al Shabab’s second goal in the 92nd minute of the game.
Also in Group A, Estehglal edged the UAE’s Al Jazira 1-0 for their first win in four matches, with Ghazi Najafabadi scoring in the 70th minute.
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