Jeonju: Guangzhou Evergrande striker Muriqui ensured the Chinese Super League champions’ unbeaten start to the 2013 AFC Champions League continued with a 64th minute equaliser against Jeonbuk Motors, earning his side a 1-1 draw and a share of the points in the Group F clash at Jeonju World Cup Stadium on Tuesday.
Kim Jung-woo (pictured) gave the former champions the lead against the run of play in the 27th minute with a well-taken strike from the edge of the area, only for Muriqui (Luiz Guilherme da Conceição Silva) to beat the home side’s offside trap and level the scores.
“It was a balanced game. We had better possession in the first half and generally played well. We conceded a goal, but managed to score an equaliser and came close to taking the lead but we were unable to get the victory which is inconvenient,” said Guangzhou coach Marcello Lippi.
“As it was an away game I had asked the players to get a point, but inside I wanted the team to get three points
“Jeonbuk were very well prepared. Lee Dong-gook was a threat and Leonardo, Park Hee-do and Seo Sang-min were also impressive. Kevin Oris came on in the second half and was also an attacking threat.”
Guangzhou, who defeated Urawa Reds 3-0 on Matchday 1, had the better of the opening exchanges, with Huang Bowen going close with a free kick and a header inside the first 20 minutes before Kim’s sucker punch from 20 yards beat Zeng Cheng before going in via the post.
Alex Wilkinson’s header clipped the Guangzhou crossbar seven minutes into the second half as Jeonbuk started the second period in impressive fashion while Zeng was on hand to push away a goal-bound effort from Leonardo (Leonardo Rodrigues Perreira).
Gao Lin should have pulled his side level just after the hour mark but his close range effort flew over the bar however, just minutes later, the China international slid the ball behind Wilkinson and Muriqui ran in to score beyond Choi Eun-sung.
With 19 minutes remaining, Dario Conca almost gave Guangzhou the lead when Gao again turned provider, but the Argentine midfielder could only find the woodwork with his looping header before Muriqui’s follow-up went wide.
The result moved Guangzhou on to four points from their opening two games, one point clear of Urawa Reds and two ahead of Jeonbuk following their opening day draw with Muangthong United.
“Both teams played well and both teams had a chance to win,” said Jeonbuk coach Fabio Lefundes.
“Next we will play two games against Urawa and we will look to win both matches to claim six points.”