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Group G: Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors FC (KOR) 2-1 Urawa Red Diamonds (JPN)

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Jeonju: Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors pulled five points clear of Urawa Reds in Group G after beating the Japanese side 2-1 on Matchday Four of 2019 AFC Champions League on Wednesday.

Shinzo Koroki had the first effort on goal when his low shot went just wide after Ewerton’s dummy had created space.

But it was the home side who took the lead in the 12th minute. Ricardo Lopes stole possession, drove forward and struck a firm, low shot into the far corner from 20 yards.

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Lim Seong-yeon then had an excellent chance to add a second but missed the target after ambling through the Urawa defence. Seconds later, Son Jun-ho’s header was saved by Shusaku Nishikawa as the home side piled on the pressure.

On a rare Urawa attack, Koroki played a nice floated pass into the path of Ryosuke Yamanaka who took his shot early but couldn’t find the top corner.

But Jeonbuk hit back almost immediately as Lim Seong-yeon placed another effort wide after Kim Shin-wook’s shot was blocked.

In the 36th minute, Lim Seong-yeon was again presented with a fine chance but he blasted the ball over from 16 yards.

Nishikawa then showed impressive reflexes to push Kim Min-hyeok’s powerful glancing header over the bar.

It took just three minutes of the second half for the dominant hosts to go two goals ahead as Lopes crossed from the left and Kim Shin-wook headed into the corner.

Lopes came close to making it 3-0 but struck a powerful half-volley inches too high.

But against the run of play, Urawa stunned the hosts by pulling a goal back in the 58th minute. A sweeping crossfield pass from Takuya Aoki evaded the home defence and Koroki calmly stroked the ball past Song Beom-keun.

Urawa grew in confidence after the goal and the match became more stretched as a result. Andrew Nabbout’s shot from distance forced Song Beom-keun into a save as the visitors pushed for an unlikely point.

They left themselves exposed at the back and Lopes broke clear with nine minutes remaining but was denied by a last-ditch block from Takuya Iwanami.

Jeonbuk held on for the win and now travel to China PR to face Beijing Guoan on May 7, while Urawa must win when they meet Buriram United in Thailand on the same day.

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