Jeonbuk make winning start

Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors lept to the top of the standings in Group E of this year’s AFC Champions League after recording a 2-1 home victory over FC Tokyo on Tuesday.

Ko Mu-Yeol opened the scoring for the Koreans in the 39th minute, before Lee Dong-Gook doubled their advantage in the 83rd minute.

Takuma Abe then scored a consolation goal for the visitors three minutes later.

The J-Leeague side was the first to threaten when Abe was found in space and allowed to run t the Jeonbuk defense, but with only keeper Kwoun Sun-tae to clear, his chip sailed just over the Jeonbuk crossbar.

After a cagey opening half hour, the Choi Kang-hee’s side started to impose themselves on the play-off winners and six minutes before the half-time interval the hosts got the goal they deserved.

Kim Bo-kyung was played in by Ricardo Lopes, before his neat backheel fooled the Japanese side’s defense and found Ko – who was making his debut for the Koreans – unmarked in the box and he made no mistake with the finish, slotting the ball into the top left corner of the goal.

After the half-time interval, the visitors was more adventurous in their play and Keigo Higashi and Takuji Yonemoto both went close in the first 10 minutes of the second half.

On the hour mark, AFC Champions League record goal scorer Lee nearly scored his side’s second of the night, but after being played in by Ko, he missed narrowly to the left of the goal.

Lee went close again with 11 minutes remaining, but four minutes later the veteran Korean international did find the back of the net. He was found on the left flank by Lee Jae-sung and after turning Hiroki Kawano, his right-footed curler left Yota Akimoto in the Tokyo goal with no chance.

Shortly after the kick-off, Abe broke through the Jeonbuk defense and thumped his shot past Kwoun.

There was to be no exciting finish to the match, though, as Jeonbuk hung on for the victory.