Matchday One - Group E: Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors 3-2 Kashiwa Reysol
Jeonju: Lee Dong-gook’s double completed a spectacular comeback for Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors as the Korea Republic champions defeated Kashiwa Reysol 3-2 in the 2018 AFC Champions League Group E opener on Tuesday.
The brace also extended the striker’s lead as the tournament’s all-time top scorer, taking him onto 34 goals since its revamp in 2002-03.
The match came to life when Kashiwa opened the scoring after 10 minutes. A ball over the top from Hidekazu Otani put Ramon Lopes clear on the left. Hong Jeong-nam rushed out of the penalty area but Lopes got to the ball first and lifted it over the Jeonbuk keeper and into the far corner.
The hosts got back into the game, but Kashiwa stunned them by doubling their lead in the 27th minute. Again, the danger came down the left as Cristiano broke down the wing. He found Lopes, who turned inside before his low shot was parried by Hong Jeong-nam and into the path of Ataru Esaka, who tapped into an empty net.
Jeonbuk went on the attack early in the second half and got their reward with a goal in the 55th minute as Lee Dong-gook jumped to head in from Lee Jae-sung’s corner.
And the two-time winners levelled things up with 15 minutes remaining. After Tiago Alves’ free--kick was blocked, Kim Shin-wook’s shot was saved and the ball fell to Kim Jin-su who volleyed home with an acrobatic effort from six yards.
The comeback was complete in the 84th minute, with Lee Dong-gook adding his second of the night, curling a super strike into the top corner of the net.