Beat Ade­laide to top Group H, Ever­grande scram­ble late goal to hold Su­won

New Straits Times - - Sport -

ALEX Teix­eira’s dou­ble strike put China’s deep-pock­eted Jiangsu Sun­ing on top of their AFC Champions League group with a 2-1 win over Ade­laide United on Wed­nes­day.

As Chi­nese ri­vals Guangzhou Ever­grande scram­bled a 2-2 draw with Su­won Sam­sung Bluew­ings, Teix­eira scored an early tap-in and a bril­liant solo ef­fort late on in Nan­jing.

The match-win­ning per­for­mance by the for­mer Liver­pool tar­get, a €50 mil­lion (RM235 mil­lion) sign­ing from Shakhtar Donetsk last year, put Jiangsu top of Group H with a max­i­mum six points.

Jiangsu, bankrolled by the Sun­ing group which also con­trols In­ter Mi­lan, were run­ners-up to Ever­grande in last year’s Chi­nese Su­per League but the Asian ti­tle looms as a much big­ger prize.

They were quickly on top against Ade­laide when Teix­eira snapped up a re­bound from for­mer Chelsea man Ramires on 14 min­utes.

Ade­laide were threat­en­ing to equalise but on 72 min­utes, Teix­eira set off on a run from the left, drift­ing past a de­fender be­fore nut­meg­ging goal­keeper Daniel Mar­gush.

Sub­sti­tute for­ward Eli Ba­balj grabbed a goal for Ade­laide in in­jury time but there was to be no mir­a­cle comeback for the 2008 Asian fi­nal­ists and reign­ing Aus­tralian champions.

Ear­lier, Brazil­ian for­ward Alan struck late to spare Ever­grande’s blushes 2-2 against Su­won, just a week af­ter the Chi­nese gi­ants ham­mered Hong Kong’s Eastern 7-1.

Luiz Felipe Sco­lari’s team were headed for a shock de­feat in South Korea be­fore Alan slammed home a loose ball on 81 min­utes to keep the two-time Asian champions top of Group G.

In pour­ing rain at Su­won World Cup Sta­dium, Ever­grande’s Ri­cardo Goulart had can­celled out San­tos’s early opener with a stun­ning half-vol­ley on 25 min­utes.

Su­won’s Johnathan made it 2-1 shortly af­ter­wards be­fore Alan, the game’s fourth Brazil­ian scorer, se­cured an important away point for Ever­grande with his late equaliser.

In Group H, Ya­suhito Endo’s own goal trig­gered a col­lapse by Gamba Osaka as the first-week table-top­pers slumped to a 4-1 home de­feat to South Korea’s Jeju United.

Ja­pan in­ter­na­tional Endo nod­ded the ball into his own net on 44 min­utes be­fore Lee ChangMin dou­bled Jeju’s ad­van­tage in first-half in­jury time.

Af­ter the break, Marcelo Toscano’s strike and a lon­grange rocket from Lee made it 40, be­fore Ade­mil­son grabbed a con­so­la­tion goal with one minute re­main­ing.

In Hong Kong, debu­tants Eastern flirted with their first Champions League win be­fore draw­ing 1-1 with 10-man Ja­panese side Kawasaki Frontale.

Manuel Bleda’s 14th-minute penalty — af­ter Tat­suki Nara’s straight red card — gave Eastern hope of a morale-boost­ing win af­ter last week’s crush­ing, 7-1 de­feat to Ever­grande.

But Eastern, led by their trail­blaz­ing woman coach Chan Yuent­ing, had to set­tle for their first point in the com­pe­ti­tion af­ter Ko Itakura’s sec­ond-half equaliser.

AFP PIC Alex Teix­eira of Jiangsu (in blue) fights for the ball with Dy­lan Mcgowan (right) of Ade­laide United dur­ing their AFC Champions League match on Wed­nes­day. Jiangsu won 2-1.

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