Eastern SC earn first point against Kawasaki

Eastern SC and Kawasaki Frontale played out a 1-1 draw in Hong Kong on Wednesday in their AFC Champions League Group G clash at the Mong Kok Stadium on Wednesday.

  • Eastern 1 Frontale 1
  • Bleda opens scoring
  • Eastern hold lead until HT
  • Itakura levels matters

Match summary

Manuel Bleda opened the scoring for the Hong Kong Premier League champions from the spot as early as the 13th minute, but the vistors from Japan leveled matters shortly after the break.

Midfielder Ko Itakura for Toru Oniki's men to secure a point on their travels away from home.

Full report

There was drama early in the game as Eastern SC were awarded a penalty in the 13th minute, after Tatsuki Nara fouled Manuel Bleda in the box. Nara was shown a straight red card for the offense, and Bleda converted the spot-kick to give the hosts an early lead.

Eastern SC were buoyed by their opener and came close to netting a second a few minutes later when Bleda unleashed a shot from long distance, only to be denied by goalkeeper Shota Arai.

At the other end, Kawasaki enjoyed their first real opportunity of the tie as Kenta Kano set up Koji Miyoshi for a shot at goal, but his effort went just wide.

The chances dried up towards the end of the first half, but four minutes after the break Yapp Hung-Fai was called upon to keep Eastern SC in front with a save after Miyoshi's shot at goal.

In the 52nd minute, Kawasaki drew level. Brazilian forward Rhayner did well in the build-up to find midfielder Ko Itakura, who made no mistake with the finish, finding the back of the net from the angle.

The home team responded almost immediately with an attack which resulted in a set-piece. Bai He produced the incisive delivery and Roberto hit the woodwork with his subsequent shot.

Shortly after the hour mark, Eastern were close to restoring their lead as Bai He tried his luck from outside the box, but it was directed just wide.

Moriya continued to threaten the Eastern goal towards the latter stages of the clash, and forced a decent save from Hung-Fai in the 81st minute. Moments later the goalkeeper had to keep another shot out as Rhayner tried to pierce his defences.

The scores remained level until the final whistle, with both sides walking away with a single point. The result sees Kawasaki stay third in the group, while Eastern remain in fourth place.