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Group G: Beijing FC (CHN) 0-0 Urawa Red Diamonds (JPN)

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Beijing: Beijing FC wasted a host of chances and had a last minute goal ruled out as they played out a 0-0 draw with Japanese heavyweights Urawa Red Diamonds in their 2019 AFC Champions League Group G clash at the Beijing Workers Stadium on Wednesday.

Looking to bounce back from last week’s 3-1 defeat to Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors, the home side took immediate control of the game and it was Zhang Xizhe that had the first real chance on goal when he fired low and hard from the edge of the area, forcing a good save from Shusaku Nishikawa after just 10 minutes.

Roger Schmidt’s team should’ve taken the lead eight minutes later when Cedric Bakambu was played in one-on-one with Nishikawa. Having done the hard bit by rounding the Urawa custodian, he inexplicably pulled his shot wide from an acute angle to let the visitors off the hook.

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The 2017 AFC Champions League winners were living dangerously and just a minute later Jonathan Viera was next to try his luck, but he too put his effort wide as the home side took complete control of the game.

Bakambu was a constant thorn in the side of the Urawa defence and he created another great chance late in the half, but Zhang Yuning’s header went just over the crossbar and the Japanese managed to get to half time still locked at 0-0.

The onslaught from the home side continued in the second half, with Viera’s effort on 50 minutes well saved by Nishikawa, before the Urawa goalkeeper again stood tall to deny Brazilian international Renato Augusto’s free-kick from the edge of the area.

Zhang Yuning, who returned to China PR from Europe in the off-season, then tried his luck with shots in the 55th and 65th minutes, but he too could find no way past Nishikawa.

With 10 minutes to play, captain Yu Dabao couldn’t keep his header down as another chance went begging.

As the chances mounted, the home side, and their fans, grew frustrated at their inability to break the deadlock. To rub salt into their wounds, Viera saw a shot cannon back off the woodwork in the first minute of added time before Bakambu put the ball in the back of the net 30 seconds later, only for it to be ruled out for offside.

The draw means Beijing are the only team in Group G without a win as they face a trip to Thailand to take on Buriram United on Matchday Three, while Urawa return home to Saitama to tackle Jeonbuk.

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