AFC Champions League 2019: Jeonbuk see off Urawa to march on at the top

Gabriel Tan Gabriel Tan

Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors moved five points clear at the top of AFC Champions League 2019 Group G on Wednesday after recording a hard-fought 2-1 win over Urawa Red Diamonds.

The K League 1 giants – who entered the game at the Jeonju World Cup Stadium  with two wins from their opening three games – took 12 minutes to open the scoring courtesy of a piece of individual brilliance from Ricardo Lopes.

Having seen Ryota Moriwaki send a clearance straight into him, Lopes pounced and headed straight for goal, showing good strength to barge off a challenge before lashing a shot past Shusaku Nishikawa.

Three minutes after the restart, the Brazilian turned provider when an excellent cross swung in from the left found Kim Shin-wook, who made no mistake in heading home to double the hosts’ advantage.

Urawa managed to pull one back two minutes before the hour mark when a superb 40-yard searching pass by Moriwaki eliminated Hong Jeong-ho from the equation, allowing Shinzo Koroki to race through and send a clinical finish into the far corner.

But, having gotten themselves back into the contest, the visitors were just unable to find the second goal they needed to force the draw, allowing Jeonbuk to hold out for the win and move five clear at the top of Group G ahead of Wednesday’s other match between Beijing Guoan and Buriram United.

JEONBUK HYUNDAI MOTORS: Song Bum-keun, Choi Chul-soon, Hong Jeong-ho, Kim Min-hyeok, Kim Jin-su, Shin Hyung-min, Son Jun-ho (Lee Seung-gi 72’), Lim Sun-young, Han Kyo-won (Lee Yong 90+3′), Ricardo Lopes, Kim Shin-wook (Lee Dong-gook 75’).

URAWA RED DIAMONDS: Shusaku Nishikawa, Ryota Moriwaki, Daisuke Suzuki, Mauricio Antonio, Tomoaki Makino (Takuya Iwanami 46’), Ryosuke Nagasawa, Takuya Aoki, Kazuki Nagasawa, Ewerton, Yuki Muto (Andrew Nabbout 64’), Shinzo Koroki (Koya Yuruki 82’).