Guangzhou Evergrande, Tractorsazi win in ACL
GUANGZHOU, China (AP) — Chinese champion Guangzhou Evergrande kicked off this year’s Asian Champions League with a 3-0 win over 2007 winners Urawa Reds of Japan on Tuesday.
Paraguay striker Lucas Barrios scored in the 16th minute and Brazilian forward Muriqui doubled the lead in the 66th at Guangzhou Sport Center. An own-goal by Keita Suzuki in the first minute of stoppage time added the third.
Marcello Lippi’s star-studded squad is aiming to bring the trophy to China for the first time.
In the other Group F game, 2006 champion Jeonbuk Motors of South Korea was held to a 2-2 draw with Thai club Muanthong United after an own-goal by Jeonbuk defender Jung Hyuk in the 88th.
An early penalty from Lee Dong-gook gave Jeonbuk a 1-0 lead before Mario Durovski equalized for the hosts in the last minute of the first half.
Substitute Kevin Oris appeared to have handed Jeonbuk all three points as the Belgian striker headed home with 14 minutes left only for Jung to turn a corner into his own net from close range with 90 seconds remaining in regulation.
At Seoul World Cup Stadium, Serbian striker Dejan Damjanovic and Yun Il-lok each scored a pair of goals to power FC Seoul to a 5-1 win over 2012 Chinese Super League runner-up Jiangsu Sainty in Group E.
Hamdi Salihi scored a late consolation for the visitors before Mauricio Molina wrapped up the scoring in the closing stages.
In Sendai, Japan, Thai club Buriram United scored a second-half equalizer in a 1-1 draw with J-League runner-up Vegalta Sendai in the group’s other match.
In Group A, Tractorsazi Tabriz of Iran began their maiden campaign in the tournament with a 3-1 win over United Arab Emirates side Al Jazira.
Playing at home in front of 67,000 fans, Tractorsazi’s Mehdi Seyed-Salehi headed in a goal in the 37th minute. The Iranian side doubled its lead on the hour mark when Javad Kazemian wrong-footed a defender with an excellent first touch and rolled the ball past keeper Ali Khaseif.
Al Jazira pulled a goal back in the 79th when substitute Ali Mabkhout poked the ball past goalkeeper Mehdi Sabeti from close range. But Tractorsazi’s Seyed-Salehi then broke into the box on the left and crossed for an unmarked Masoud Ebrahimzadeh to head home.
In Group B, first-half goals from Sebastian Soria and Youssef Msakni gave Qatar champion Lekhwiya a 2-1 comeback victory over AFC Champions League playoff winner Al Shabab. The other Group B encounter saw Pakhtakor of Uzbekistan get past Al Ettifaq of Saudi Arabia 1-0.