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Matchday One - Group E: Tianjin Quanjian 3-0 Kitchee SC

Tuesday, February 13, 2018
Anthony Modeste-Tianjin

Tianjin: Three goals in eight first-half minutes saw Tianjin Quanjian come out on top in the battle of the AFC Champions League debutants after the Chinese side claimed a 3-0 win over Hong Kong’s Kitchee SC in Group E at Tianjin Olympic Center Stadium on Tuesday.

After a quiet opening 20 minutes Alexandre Pato saw his effort from distance dip just over the Kitchee crossbar, but Tianjin’s superiority soon told as Anthony Modeste headed home Mi Haolun’s cross on 32 minutes to give the hosts the lead.

Less than five minutes later, Modeste looked to have scuffed his shot from Zhang Cheng’s cut-back wide, only for it to deflect off the unfortunate Paulinho and into the back of the net to give the visitors a mountain to climb.

Wang Yongpo’s cross from the right was then headed in by Sun Ke in the 39th minute as Paulo Sousa’s side threatened to run riot, only for the half-time whistle to halt their momentum.

Kitchee were able to arrest the slide after the restart, but Wang almost added a fourth when his curling free-kick was expertly saved by goalkeeper Wang Zhenpeng midway through the half.

The 3-0 victory edges Tianjin above Korea Republic’s Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors on goal difference at the top of the standings after the 2016 champions came from two down to record a 3-2 win over Japan’s Kashiwa Reysol in Tuesday’s earlier Group E fixture.