Thu, 28 Oct, 2021
Seongnam: Korea Republic’s Seongnam FC and China’s Guangzhou R&F played out a tight goalless draw in the AFC Champions League on Tuesday to lift the former winners to the top of Group F alongside Thailand’s Buriram United.
Two-time continental champions Seongnam moved onto seven points from four games following last month’s 1-0 win in China to join Buriram at the top of the table after the Thai champions lost 2-1 at home to Japan’s Gamba Osaka.
And Gamba’s first win of the campaign means continental debutants Guangzhou are joined by the J.League champions on four points with two games remaining.
The first half at Tancheon Sports Complex was a cagey affair with neither team able to establish a grip on the game.
Seongnam, though, went the closest with an early shot from just inside the penalty area from Hwang Ui-jo, who scored the only goal of the game during Seongnam’s 1-0 in China three weeks previously, which was well saved by goalkeeper Liu Dianzuo.
For Guangzhou, Lu Lin had a chance from the edge of the area but his low left foot shot was pushed away by Park Jun-huk in the Seongnam goal.
Then 10 minutes after the restart, Kim Do-heon’s dipping half-volley from just outside the area was caught by Liu standing on his line.
With 20 minutes remaining, Hwang thought he had broken the deadlock after breaking free of the Guangzhou defence to roll the ball past the goalkeeper, but the young forward was just ruled offside by the referee's assistant.
Seongnam finished the stronger of the two teams as substitute Kim Dong-sub almost put the Korean FA Cup holders ahead with 15 minutes remaining but while the striker connected with Kwak Hae-seong’s looping cross from the right, his shot was straight at goalkeeper Liu.
Soon after, Seongnam's Brazilian Lucas should have done better from the edge of the area as the striker's shot came through a crowded penalty area but did not have the power to seriously trouble Liu who gathered the ball comfortably.
Guangzhou had wasted a number of set piece opportunities throughout the game but had their best chance with eight minutes remaining as a floated free-kick from Park Jong-woo found Abderrazzaq Hamedallah free on the edge of the six-yard area only for the Moroccan marksman to head straight into the arms of goalkeeper Park.
With two minutes remaining, Seongnam almost made the visitors pay as Kim Cheol-ho’s cross deep from the right found Hwang unmarked near the penalty spot but the striker, with all the goal to aim for, sent his header well wide.