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Suwon Samsung Bluewings, Guangzhou Evergrande battle to a stalemate in AFC Champions League showdown

Doha: A lively affair at Khalifa International Stadium delivered everything but goals as Suwon Samsung Bluewings and Guangzhou Evergrande played out a 0-0 draw in Group G of the 2020 AFC Champions League on Sunday.

Having lost their opening game against Vissel Kobe, Suwon Samsung Bluewings' chances of staying in contention hinged on avoiding defeat against a Guangzhou Evergrande side making their first appearance in the 2020 AFC Champions League.

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After a quiet opening quarter of an hour, the Koreans had their first sight of goal in the 15th minute when Kim Tae-hwan controlled a loosely cleared ball at the edge of the box and drilled a low left-footed effort that just narrowly missed the target.

An early spell of dominance for Suwon Samsung Bluewings produced little in way of clear-cut chances, and after weathering the initial storm, Guangzhou Evergrande gradually grew into the match.

Head coach Fabio Cannavaro’s men made their first impact at the half hour mark when Gao Late latched onto a long pass inside the box and attempted a half-volleyed effort that was blocked by the defence.

Guangzhou Evergrande piled the pressure in the final 15 minutes of the opening half with Liao Lisheng’s free-kick deflected for a corner and goalkeeper Yang Hyung-moo having to tip behind a header from his own defender after a corner for the Chinese team, keeping the scores level at the break.

Suwon Samsung Bluewings started on the front foot and nearly got the opener within 90 seconds of the restart as a well-worked attacking move ended with Park Sang-hyeok free on the left side of the box and his powerful effort needed goalkeeper Liu Dianzuo to be fully switched on to make the save.

Head coach Park Kun-ha’s side came close once more at the hour mark with Kim Tae-hwan trying his luck from outside the box, his left-footed effort hit the net but from the wrong side of the upright.

Substitute Luo Guofu nearly put Guangzhou in front against the run of play with 10 minutes to go as the Chinese side won possession inside the opposition half and the number 20 curled a shot from 25 yards out that passed agonisingly close off target.

Suwon Samsung Bluewings almost thought they had won it late when Ko Seung-beom struck hard and low in added time, but Liu was alert to the threat and produced a fine save to deny the Koreans.

Ultimately, there would be no breakthrough for either side as they both collected their first point of the campaign. Suwon Samsung Bluewings will wait until December 1 for their next game while Guangzhou Evergrande face a double-header against Vissel Kobe on Wednesday and Saturday.

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