AFC Champions League Tuesday run down

Photo from Fox Sports
It is Champions League week four in Asia and the East Asian sides are back in action. On Tuesday we only saw one side come away with three points however, as Sanfrecce Hiroshima beat Daegu 1-0 in South Korea. 

Hiroshima from no-hopers to table toppers 

Daegu 0 - 1 Sanfrecce Hiroshima 
The AFC campaign started in controversy for the J League side. This was seen as they limped their way to a Group stage place beating Chiangrai United of Thailand on penalties. The group stage then began with a criticised 11 losing 2-0 away to Guangzhou Evergrande. 

After that, they have gone on to pick up maximum points from there three games since. The fans still looked to not be on board however as less than 10,000 have seen the Hiroshima side in their two home matches so far.

Despite this, they picked up three points again away from home on Tuesday in front of around 100 away fans as they defeated Daegu of the K League for the second time in this year's Group stage. This was a big result for the side who had slipped up in the league over the weekend to title challengers FC Tokyo.

The 100 hardy fans from Hiroshima will travel back home happy too after scoring the only goal of the game on 34 minutes when Hayato Araki darted found himself scoring from a header at the near post.

Despite the K League side trying their best, the usually-dangerous attack was not able to offer enough to change the match. Daegu has now lost two in-a-row and their great start looks to be a distant memory.

Stalemate down-under 

Melbourne Victory 1 - 1 Guangzhou Evergrande 
In this match, the CSL side Guangzhou Evergrande were well backed as the club bought 2000 tickets and offloaded them to the local Chinese community in Melbourne. So with 2,000 fans behind them, Evergrande looked to stay top of Group F. 

They could not do this however with Hiroshima leapfrogging them to the top of the Group. This was down to the fact the CSL side could only manage a draw in Melbourne. The two goals in this match came in a two minute period with Evergrande taking the lead on 24 minutes from Huang Bowen, only to be pegged back on 26 minutes with a goal from Melbourne Victory forward Jai Ingham. 

This was to be the first point for Melbourne Victory and it came through a great defensive display. As the match facts show the CSL team dominated the match but they could not turn that dominance into three points leaving the Group wide open. 

Four goals shared in the J v K League battle 

Kawasaki Frontale 2 - 2 Ulsan
Frontale of the J League hosted Ulsan of the K League and this proved to be the best match from the East Asian sides this Tuesday. This was seen with the clubs sharing four goals in a 2-2 draw, this came after Ulsan had won 1-0 in the previous match between the sides. 

Listeners to our podcast would know we talked about Ulsan's great defensive record and how some even suggested they could win the AFC Champions League due to this. However, after conceding only eight goals in all 14 matches they had played previous to this match losing the two goals will be a disappointment. 

This was to be an entertaining match witnessed by good travelling support from Korea. The win also meant that despite an encouraging performance Ulsan has now not won in their last six attempts in Japan. 

To the match it was was Kawasaki who scored first after just eight minutes the goal coming from Yu Kobayashi, who did well to bring the ball under control and lash a low drive into the far corner. It took just nine minutes for a corner from Sin Jin-ho to draw the visitors level from a Park Yong-woo goal.

The K League side then took the lead on 31 minutes when Junior Negrao got through two defenders before forcing a shot past Jung Sung-ryong. The lead did not last long though despite Ulsan looking the better side. As the equaliser for the hosts came eight minutes from time with a goal from Kei Chinen. 

SIPG looking nervous 

Shanghai SIPG 2 - 2 Sydney FC
This was an action-packed match also and means both sides can still qualify for the next round of the Champions League. It was to be the second time these two sides drew as they played out a 3-3 draw last time in Sydney. 

This time the first goal came on the 34th minute when Brandon O’Neill scored for the hosts. Elkeson then made it 1-1 as he scored from a Hulk cross at the near post.

The for the first time in the Group SIPG were ahead again the Australians when Zhang Wei combined with Hulk down the left before crossing in for Wang Shenchao to score with a side-foot finish. The lead did not last and hosts were level three minutes later through an Adam Le Fondre’s header. 

After the match on a side note Peter Stebbings (@pstebbings) on Twitter said Local media officer at Shanghai SIPG v @SydneyFC tells me that 'no questions are allowed about the referee'. Curious, and look forward to hearing an explanation from the @theafcdotcom #afccl2019'. It will be very interesting to know why this was a case. 

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