Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Frustration for Japanese clubs


Adelaide United maintained their 100 per cent record in AFC Champions League Group E on Tuesday with a 2-0 defeat of Gamba Osaka.

Defender Daniel Mullen grabbed both goals in the first half as Adelaide became the first Australian side to beat the Japanese giants.

Mullen put Adelaide ahead on 17 minutes with a header after his first effort came back off the bar. And the 22-year-old then capped a classy performance at fullback with another close-range finish seven minutes later.

The win lifted Adelaide into top spot in the group, three points clear of Bunyodkor and Pohang Steelers.

Bunyodkor claimed their first points in the pool with a 2-0 win at Pohang Steelers. The Uzbeks took the lead through Lutfulla Turaev after 28 minutes and Kamoliddim Murzoev made sure of the victory with a second 13 minutes from time.

Capital club denied
FC Tokyo and Ulsan Hyundai share top spot in Group F after a 2-2 draw in the Japanese capital.

The home side twice took the lead, through Yuhei Tokunaga and Yohei Kajiyama, but the South Koreans hit back each time to claim a point thanks to goals from Kim Seung-Yong and, in the 89th minute, Maranhao.

Beijing Guoan and Brisbane Roar picked up their first points in a 1-1 draw. Piao Cheng put the hosts ahead after eight minutes but Mitch Nichols equalised 13 minutes later.

Ittihad stay perfect
In Group B, Al Ittihad made it two wins out of two as they won 3-1 away to Al Arabi. Although the early lead given to them by Naif Hazazi was swiftly cancelled out by Leonardo Pisculichi, Al Ittihad were in front again with half an hour gone as Hamad Al-Montashari found the net.

Hazazi's second nine minutes from time made sure of the points that put them two clear at the top of the group, ahead of Bani Yas who were held to a 1-1 draw at Pakhtakor Tashkent. Dilshod Sharofetdinov put the hosts ahead in the 29th minute, but Mohammed Fawzi struck on the hour mark for Banis.

Al Jazira sit top of Group A after holding off a late fightback to beat Al Rayyan 3-2. Ricardo Oliveira got them off the mark after just nine minutes and two goals in quick succession from Ibrahim Diaky and Abdulla Mousa put them in control early in the second half. But they were made to sweat as Daniel Goma pulled one back in the 65th minute and Fabio Montezine set up a tense finish with a second 11 minutes from time.

Esteghlal are in second place on four points following a goalless draw with Nasaf Quarshi.