Thu, Apr 15, 2010 - Page 20 News List

Beijing keep AFC Champions League hopes alive

AFP , TOKYO

Chinese Super League champions Beijing Guoan and Japan’s Kawasaki Frontale yesterday kept alive their hopes of reaching the AFC Champions League knock-out round.

Beijing dashed Melbourne Victory’s ambitions by holding them to a goalless draw, while Kawasaki whipped group leaders Seongnam Ilhwa 3-0. Seongnam have already qualified for the next round.

With one more game each remaining in the group stage, Beijing have seven points, while Kawasaki have six points ahead of Melbourne on four points in Group E.

Beijing and Kawasaki will face each other in the final group round game on April 28 to decide who progresses.

The Chinese champions looked clearly the better outfit against the Australian A-League champions, with 17 shots on goal to Victory’s six and dominating the corners 10-2.

Beijing’s Australian attacker Joel Griffiths was always dangerous and had a header go narrowly wide in the 62nd minute with Melbourne goalkeeper Mitchell Langerak rooted to the spot.

BRAZILIAN

Meanwhile in Kawasaki, Brazilian Renatinho collected a rebound and sent a cross for Hiroyuki Taniguchi’s opener in the third minute, before Yusuke Tasaka made it 2-0 in the 21st minute.

Renatinho added one more in the 68th minute on a penalty.

J-League champions Kashima Antlers and K-League champions Jeonbuk Motors, who have already secured their places in the knock-out round, notched up another win each before their final encounter for top place in Group F.

Japan international striker Shinzo Koroki beat a defender and won a one-on-one encounter against Changchun Yatai goalkeeper An Qi in the 37th minute to give Kashima a 1-0 win.

Jeonbuk smashed Persipura Jayapura of Indonesia 8-0.

In Group B, Saudi giants Al Ittihad, champions in 2004 and 2005, were to play Uzbekistan’s Bunyodkor for a place in the round of 16 later yesterday.

Al Ittihad, finalists last year, were second with seven points, just one ahead of Bunyodkor, who are managed by Brazilian World Cup winning coach Luiz Felipe Scolari.

Leaders Zobahan of Iran were on 10 points and were to play struggling Al Wahda in Abu Dhabi, where a win would seal a spot in the knockout round.

GROUP LEADERS

Group A leaders Esteghlal of Iran would secure a berth in the knock-out round with a home win over third-placed Al Ahli, who were on six points, two behind Esteghlal.

Qatari champions Al Gharafa, second on seven points, were to play bottom-placed Al Jazira of the United Arab Emirates in the group’s other game knowing that a win in Doha could secure their place in the round of 16.

ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY STAFF WRITER

Also See: Pohang Steelers reach ACL last 16

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