Fri, Mar 04, 2011 - Page 19 News List

Kashima draw ACL opener 0-0


Suwon Samsung Bluewings’ Kwak Hee-joo, center, battles with Mathew Jurman, left, and Stephan Keller of Sydney FC during their AFC Champions League Group H match in Sydney on Wednesday.

Photo: EPA

Japanese club Kashima Antlers were held to a 0-0 draw by Shanghai Shenhua on Wednesday in their opening Group H game of the Asian Champions League despite dominating for much of the game.

Kashima controlled play from the start, with Takuya Nozawa and Takeshi Aoki both testing goalkeeper Wang Delai inside the first 15 minutes.

The hosts created their best chance from a quick counterattack nine minutes after the interval, when Jiang Kun’s deflected volley fell to Luis Salmeron, but his lofted effort couldn’t get past Kashima goalkeeper Hitoshi Sogahata.

The Argentine striker had another shot on target, but Sogahata punched the 15m effort to safety.

Fellype Gabriel then almost broke the deadlock for Kashima with a bicycle kick amid a goalmouth scramble following a corner, but the Japanese had to settle for a point.

In Group C, Brazilian midfielder Hugo scored a late equalizer to give Al Wahda a 1-1 draw against Uzbek club Bunyodkor, canceling out Azizbek Haydarov’s 84th-minute opener. In the other group match, Al Ittihad beat Piroozi 3-1 thanks to a brace by Abdelmalek Ziaya either side of a 48th-minute penalty from club captain Mohammed Noor. Maziar Zare had equalized for the Iranian club in the 20th.

Zob Ahan came from a goal down to beat Emirate 2-1 in Group D to sit two points clear of Al Rayyan and Al Shabab, who drew 1-1.

FC Seoul joined Hangzhou Greentown at the top of Group F after winning 1-0 at Al Ain, with Dejan Damjanovic scoring the winner in the 22nd for the South Koreans.

Earlier, Park Won-jae scored on the hour to help 2006 winner Jeonbuk Motors open their campaign with a 1-0 win over Chinese Super League winner Shandong Luneng.

In the other Group G match, Rodrigo Pimpao scored either side of halftime to lead Cerezo Osaka to a 2-1 win over Indonesian champions Arema FC.

In the Group H opener, 10-man Sydney FC held on for a 0-0 draw against Korean Cup winners Suwon Bluewings after skipper Terry McFlynn was sent off in the 33rd minute.

McFlynn was red carded for stomping on the arm of Suwon striker Lee Sang-ho.

The best chance for either side fell to Suwon’s Choi Sung-kuk, who blazed a shot over the cross bar after being artfully played in behind the defense in the eighth minute, while Oh Jan-eun went close with an overhead scissors kick after half time.

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