Chinese side Shandong Luneng came from a goal down to beat their Japanese counterparts Sanfrecce Hiroshima 2-1 in their opening match of Group F in the AFC Champions League played at Edion Stadium in Hiroshima on Tuesday.
Kohei Shimizu opened the scoring for the home side in the 64th minute before Yang Xu and Diego Tardelli scored for Shandong in the 67th and 78th minutes respectively to give their side the away win.
Both sides started the first half well but there were few clear-cut chances on offer. The home side did have the better of the chances during the half with Peter Utaka and Tsukasa Shiotani both having opportunuties.
In the 45th minute, Sanfrecce had a great opportunity to score when Utaka played a through ball to Takuma Asano, who only had keeper goalkeeper Wang Dalei to beat, but he chipped the ball wide.
The sides went in at the break goalless.
In the 60th minute, Sanfrecce came close again when Asano shot over the bar from a good position.
The opening goal was scored four minutes later when Shandong failed to clear the ball from Shiotani’s cross and Shimizu chested the ball down and hammered the ball into the top corner to give his side the 1-0 lead.
Three minutes later things were all square again when Yang scored with a header from a corner to make the score 1-1.
The winner came 12 minutes later when a cross from Wu Xinghan deflected off a defender and fell kindly for Tardelli, who stabbed the ball into the back of the net from a few yards out to give his side the lead.
Sanfrecce threw everything at Shandong but were denied by good goalkeeping from Wang to end up losing.