Macena goal gives Buriram group lead in Asian league
TOKYO (AP) — A late overhead kick from striker Gilberto Macena gave Thai champion Buriram United a 2-1 win at Guangzhou R&F on Tuesday and a lead in Group F in the Asian Champion League.
Lu Lin put the Chinese Super League club ahead in the 26th minute but Ko Seul-ki equalized just before half time. The match seemed destined for a draw until Brazilian Macena’s late clincher, when he latched onto the deflection of teammate Diogo’s header and looped his shot past the ’keeper.
Buriram has won both games so far to lead the group by three points from R&F and South Korea’s Seongnam FC, which had a 2-0 win over Japanese treble winner Gamba Osaka 2-0.
Former continental champion Jeonbuk Motors maintained made it two wins from two matches in Group E with a 4-1 victory over Shandong Luneng.
Edu’s first-half chip gave the South Korean team the lead before Yang Xu scored his third goal in two games to equalize. A three-goal burst in the last 20 minutes from Han Kyo-won, Lee Jae-sung and Leonardo sealed the win for the 2006 champions.
“As expected, this was a very tough game, (but) we adjusted our tactics after they leveled the scores,” Jeonbuk coach Choi Kang-hee said. “Considering Shandong’s attacking ability, at the beginning we focused on defense. However, our entire strategy is to attack and score, so at last we made four goals.”
Japanese club Kashiwa Reysol beat Vietnamese team Binh Duong 5-1 to share the group lead.
Masato Kudo scored twice for the 2013 semifinalist, with Kim Chang-soo and Hidekazu Otani scoring for Kashiwa Reysol.
In the western zone, last season’s leading scorer Asamoah Gyan registered his first goal of the 2015 campaign with a second-half equalizer in Al Ain’s 1-1 draw at Naft Tehran. In the other Group B match, Al Shabab and Pakhtakor drew 2-2. In Group A, Persepolis of Iran had a 1-0 win at Bunyodkor and Lekhwiya drew 1-1 with Al-Nassr.
The competition continues Wednesday with 2014 winner Western Sydney Wanderers hosting 2013 champion Guangzhou Evergrande — both teams opened with wins last week in Group H — and FC Seoul at home to J-League club Kashima Antlers.