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ACL Recap: Matchday 2 Roundup

There have now been two rounds of group games in the 2018 AFC Champions League. Let’s take a look at how all four of the K Leagues sides got on in week two. As three of the four sides got wins, Suwon Bluewings went down 2-1 to Japanese side Kashima Antlers.
(Image via the-AFC.com)

Ulsan Hyundai 2 - 1 Kawasaki Frontale 

The first game from the K League sides was at Ulsan Munsu Football Stadium in Ulsan. The game kicked off at 7:00pm with a crowd of 2,398 in the 44,000 capacity stadium.

Ulsan, despite having only 38% possession, ran out deserved 2-1 winners over J League Champions, Kawasaki Frontale. The home side went in at half time 1-0 up thanks to a goal late in the first half from Jung Jae-Yong. Ulsan would of been quite happy with this and Kawasaki Frontale were rightly disappointed as they had a few chances themselves, including Akihiro Lenaga hitting the outside of the post. However, Ulsan's goal was a good one when it did come as the Croatian Mislav Oršić pulled of some lovely footwork on the edge of the box before laying it off for Jung Jae-yong who struck the ball into the bottom corner from just outside the box.

The home side looked to keep the pressure on in the second half to get the second and it came in the 66th minute. The goal was a result of what can only be described as comical defending by the Japanese side. After the ball bounced around the box and the away side failed to clear, Oršić once again showed fast footwork. This time he placed the ball for Lee Young-jae and the midfielder slotted the ball into the top corner from around 25 yards out. There was time for a late consolation for Kawasaki Frontale through the diving head of Kei Chinen, but it was far too late to make a difference as Ulsan made it 4 points out of 6 in their first two ACL matches of 2018.

Kitchee 0 - 6 Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors

In the game kicking off at 9:00pm South Korean time, we witnessed a goal fest at the Hong Kong Stadium in front of a big home support of around 13,000. Unfortunately for the home faithful, Kitchee were completely overrun again in Champions League and after conceding four last week they dropped six at home to Jeonbuk this week.

In our match preview with Matthew Binns and Tobias Zuser it was thought this could have been a tighter game. Unfortunately for anyone hoping for an open competitive game, this went out the window after 25 minutes as Jeonbuk raced to a 3 goal lead. The three goals coming from an Adriano penalty and tap-in. The third came through a 30 yard strike from the often lethal Kim Jin-su.  Admittedly Wang Zhenpeng in the Kitchee goal should have dealt with the shot more adequately.

Two more goals were still to follow before halftime with Tiago Alves also getting in on the action. His first Jeonbuk goal came from a Kim Jin-su cross, as the defender became the provider for the Brazilian to head home. There was still time for a first-half hat-trick too, as Adriano made it five as Jeonbuk got what we shall call a soft penalty. The striker still needed to step up and he duly did putting the ball right into the left-hand corner giving the keeper no chance this time.

The second half was a lot quieter as Kitchee didn’t concede for 45 minutes. However, Jeonbuk did get a sixth goal in the 93rd minute. This came from a lovely through ball from that man Adriano again as he slid in Lee Dong-gook, who had the task of slotting it past the keeper from 6 yards out.

Suwon Bluewings 1 - 2 Kashima Antlers

A look now at a disappointing Wednesday night for Suwon Bluewings as they went down 2-1 to J League side Kashima Antlers. With Bluewings going into the tie after a week one win, they will be disappointed to come away with nothing from this home match.

Things did not look great from early on, as Kashima Antlers went ahead inside ten minutes through Mu Kanazaki. This was a lovely goal from the Japanese side as Yuma Suzuki picked the ball up at the corner flag and after some great footwork skipping past the Bluewings defenders he found Yasushi Endo on the edge of the box. Endo found Kanazaki who scored from close range giving Bluewings keeper, No Dong-geon, no chance. Things could have been better for Suwon on 20 minutes however when Waguininho was brought down in the box. The resulting penalty, however, was weak from Dejan Damjanovic and well saved by former Jeonbuk shot stopper Kwoun Sun-tae.

It took till the hour mark for the second to come, and once again it came from Kanazaki. The goal came from a short corner and then from what looked like just a hopeful ball into the box. However, the cross from Choi Sung-keun found Yuma Suzuki who got his head to it. His header went across the box and gave Kanazaki the easiest of tasks as he headed home from a yard out.

The game ended with a Bluewings goal in the 89th minute, but this was nothing more than a consolation. The K League side will hope to bounce back from this with a win against Shanghai Shenhua at home when their ACL campaign resumes on March 7th.

Buriram United 0 - 2 Jeju United 

The last K League side to play this week in the Champions League were Jeju United as they travelled to Thailand to play Buriram United.

This game got off to the perfect start for the K League side as they captured the lead within two minutes. The goal from Lee Chang-min was a good one as he shot low and hard into the corner of the net from outside the box.

In truth, this was looking like a comfortable evening for Jeju United after 25 minutes as they went into a two-goal lead. This came from the penalty spot as Jin Sung-wook was tripped in the box. Admittedly, it did look soft, but Santos da Cruz did not worry about that as he sent the keeper the wrong way and put the ball to his left.

Just after the break, Buriram United midfielder, Jakkraphan Kaewprom found himself one-on-one with the keeper. Then after some great footwork and skill on the edge of the box, the player somehow managed to put his shot well over from close range in the best chance the Thai side had. Jeju United run out deserved winners in the end and will be happy to get a win on the board after a late defeat last week to Cerezo Osaka.

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