Matchday Six - Group H: Suwon Samsung Bluewings edge Kashima Antlers for top spot
Kashima: Dejan Damjanovic’s 32nd AFC Champions League goal sealed top spot in Group H for Suwon Bluewings as the K League side defeated Kashima Antlers 1-0 on Matchday Six.
The Montenegrin's fifth goal of the 2018 campaign saw Suwon leapfrog the Japanese side, who qualify for the Round of 16 in second spot.
Suwon had the first chance when a slip from Yuto Misao let in Waguininho in the eighth minute. But the Brazilian took too long setting up the shot and Misao recovered to block.
Waguininho then had another decent opportunity in the 23rd minute but miscued his header from a good position.
Kashima then had their own miscue as Yuma Suzuki failed to make clean contact with a volley from the edge of the box.
Atsutaka Nakamura’s foul on Yeom Ki-hun on the edge of the Kashima area presented Suwon with an excellent chance in the 31st minute. And Waguininho’s low free kick from 20 yards was diverted into the net by Damjanovic to give the visitors the lead.
The Koreans almost added a second just before half-time when Damjanovic released Waguininho. The Brazilian’s powerful left-footed shot was well saved by Kwoun Sun-tae.
After a scrappy start to the second half, Kashima finally threatened when Kazuma Yamaguchi cut inside from the left and curled a shot just wide.
Suzuki then headed past from Yuto Misao’s cross as the hosts pushed for the equaliser. And Ryota Nagaki was next to come close for Kashima as his strike from a distance was pushed wide by Shin Hwa-yong.
Tomoya Inukai headed over from a corner in the closing stages as time ran out for the home side.
And Suwon withstood the late pressure to book their place in the last 16 match-up with Ulsan Hyundai, while Group H runners-up Kashima face Shanghai SIPG.