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Kawasaki: Kawasaki Frontale will go into the 2017 AFC Champions League quarter-final second leg with a two-goal lead over Urawa Red Diamonds after a brace from Yu Kobayashi secured a 3-1 victory in the all-Japanese clash at Kawasaki Todoroki Stadium on Wednesday.

Ahead of the tie, Kawasaki had gone eight games on the continent without defeat and it was captain Kobayashi (pictured above) who put the hosts in front on 32 minutes after fine work from Kengo Nakamura. 

Urawa, who were without Yosuke Kashiwagi after the playmaker was injured during the warm-up, had struggled to get into the tie and they were hit by a second blow just five minutes into the second-half as Elsinho acrobatically turned in after Shusaku Nishikawa could only parry Kobayashi's fierce drive.

The visitors did, however, net a vital away goal to reduce the deficit after substitute Yuki Muto (pictured above) beat the offside trap to fire past Jung Sung-ryong on 76 minutes. 

But with five minutes remaining, Kobayashi rose highest to head home Akihiro Ienaga's cross from the left to restore the two-goal cushion, and leave Urawa with work to do ahead of the decisive leg at Saitama Stadium on September 13. 


Photos: Lagardère Sports