Shandong, Kashiwa draw eight-goal thriller

Spectators at the Jinan Olympic Sports Centre were treated to a goal-fest as China's Shandong Luneng and Japan's Kashiwa Reysol drew 4-4 in their AFC Champions League Group E clash on Wednesday.

In a first half that featured six goals, Shandong took the lead in the fourth minute when Argentinian playmaker Walter Montillo found Wang Yongpo in space in the opposition box and he calmly slotted the ball through the legs of Kashiwa goalkeeper Takanori Sugeno.

The Japanese side responded well to going behind and found themselves on level terms in the 22nd minute when Brazilian striker Leandro shrugged off the challenge from defender Wang Qiang and made no mistake with his close-range shot.

The visitors then took the lead seven minutes later when Leandro combined with Masato Kudo, who made no mistake with his shot from an acute angle to give Tatsuma Yoshida's side the lead for the first time in the match.

The score went from 2-1 to 3-1 to the visitors in the 32nd minute when Cristiano cut in from the left flank and chipped goalkeeper Wang Dalei from just inside the box.

Not to be outdone, Shandong reduced the deficit two minutes later when Montillo's cross from the left wing found Junior Urso unmarked in the box and he was on target with a thumping header.

Eight minutes before half-time the scores were level at 3-3 when Kashiwa were penalised for a back pass. Wang Yongpo proceeded to lay the laid the indirect free-kick off to Montillo, who smashed it home despite the efforts of the Kashiwa defenders in the box.

After the break, Kashiwa defender Kim Chang-soo conceded a penalty and Yang Xu made no mistake with the spot kick to give the hosts a 4-3 lead in the 49th minute.

The Japanese outfit continued to attack and in the 75th minute Cristiano scored his second of the night and his side's equalizer through a direct free-kick, albeit somewhat fortunately after Wang Dalei fumbled the ball on his line and was unable to keep it out.

Both sides continued to attack but neither was able to find the telling ball in the final minutes to score what would have been a likely winner.