Group H - MD1: Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors FC (KOR) 1-2 Yokohama F. Marinos (JPN)
Jeonju: Yokohama F. Marinos enjoyed an impressive start to their 2020 AFC Champions League campaign on Wednesday as a hard-fought 2-1 victory away at Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors saw them go to the top of the Group H standings.
On a night when two-time title winners Jeonbuk finished the game with nine men, Keita Endo opened the scoring for the visitors before Kim Jin-su’s own goal effectively secured a memorable three-point haul for Ange Postecoglou’s charges.
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Making their first AFC Champions League appearance since 2014, Yokohama fashioned the game’s first genuine opportunity, Song Bum-keun producing a smart save to deny Ado Onaiwu within the first five minutes.
Jeonbuk midfielder Son Jun-ho then miscued a close-range effort, while Yokohama’s Thai import Theerathon Bunmathan flashed a 24th minute free-kick over the bar.
FULL-TIME | @Jeonbuk_hyundai 🇰🇷 1-2 @prompt_fmarinos 🇯🇵— #ACL2020 (@TheAFCCL) February 12, 2020
🤩 It’s a triumphant return to ACL for the J.League Champions as they pick up all 3⃣ points and go 🔝 of #ACL2020 Group H.#JEOvYOK pic.twitter.com/LmRylX90My
After Song had produced an excellent stop to keep out Teruhito Nakagawa’s angled drive, Yokohama went ahead.
Once again Nakagawa was heavily involved, this time delivering an excellent cross which Keita Endo converted at the far post.
Visiting goalkeeper Yuji Kajikawa was then on hand to repel a Son header before one became two for Yokohama. Kim Jin-su steering the ball into his own net following Endo’s whipped delivery from the left.
In a pulsating finish to an entertaining first half, Jeonbuk’s Takahiro Kunimoto dragged a shot inches off target and Hong Jeong-ho cleared off the line after Song had only partially saved a rasping Onaiwu shot.
Desperate to reduce the deficit, Jeonbuk were quickly into their stride following the break, but it was Yokohama who threatened first yet again, Song doing exceptionally well to keep out Takahiro Ohgihara’s attempt from 12 yards on 59 minutes.
After the seemingly omnipresent Nakagawa had almost added a third for Yokohama, Jeonbuk’s hopes all but disappeared when Son was dismissed for a second bookable offence.
With Yokohama well and truly in the ascendancy, Onaiwu was denied by Song Nakagawa only for Jeonbuk to pull one back with 10 minutes remaining, Jo Kyu-seong making the most of a Kajikawa error to give the Koreans a glimmer of hope.
The goal mattered little in the end however as, after Jeonbuk defender Lee Yong had also been given his marching orders, Yokohama held firm to seal a famous success.
Yokohama will look to add to the early momentum when they host Sydney FC on February 19, with Jeonbuk now not in action until Match 4 when they travel to play the Australians.
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