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.
Group G - MD1: Vissel Kobe (JPN) 5-1 Johor Darul Ta'zim (MAS)
Kobe: Keijiro Ogawa scored a hat-trick and Andres Iniesta was at his influential best as Vissel Kobe kicked off their debut season in the AFC Champions League on Wednesday with a 5-1 win over Johor Darul Ta’zim at the Misaki Park Stadium
Ogawa scored the first, third and fifth goals for Thorsten Fink’s side with Iniesta heavily involved in all three while Kyogo Furuhashi scored arguably the goal of the game to restore Vissel’s lead after Safawi Rashid’s penalty had given JDT a glimmer of hope. Douglas was also on target as Vissel romped to victory.
Draw with Esteghlal a boost for Al Shorta, says head coach Ilic
Erbil: Al Shorta head coach Aleksandar Ilic was satisfied despite having to settle for a share of the points with Esteghlal FC in their 2020 AFC Champions League Group A tie on Monday.
Hussam Kadhim put the ball into his own net in the first half to give Islamic Republic of Iran's Esteghlal the lead at Franso Hariri Stadium but Ali Fayez salvaged a point for the home team from the penalty spot three minutes into the second half.
Toivonen: Melbourne Victory had to overcome nerves
Melbourne: Ola Toivonen has admitted that Melbourne Victory had to survive a tense second half to claim a hard-fought 1-0 win over Thailand’s Chiangrai United in their opening 2020 AFC Champions League Group E match on Tuesday.
Swedish forward Toivanen’s penalty midway through the first half proved the difference at Melbourne Rectangular Stadium as the Australian side moved to the top of the standings, with both Beijing FC and FC Seoul not in action.
But, while the hosts were the better side, their last win in the competition came back in April 2018 and they picked up just one point in six games in a disastrous 2019 campaign, something their skipper alluded to.
Kim satisfied as resilient Ulsan fight back to hold FC Tokyo
Ulsan: Heach coach Kim Do-hoon praised Ulsan Hyundai’s resilience after they picked up a point in their opening 2020 AFC Champions League Group F clash with FC Tokyo at Ulsan Munsu Football Stadium on Tuesday.
An own goal from Adailton eight minutes from time earned Ulsan a share of the spoils after Diego Oliveira had given FC Tokyo the lead and, while Kim was disappointed one of his own players had not been able to find the back of the net, he was pleased with the overall performance.
Analysis: Dominant Al Hilal pick up where they left off
Dubai: Al Hilal proved themselves to be the best in Asia last year and judging by the holders’ display in their 2020 AFC Champions League opener against Iranian debutants Shahr Khodro on Monday, it looks like it will take something special to knock the Saudi giants off their pedestal.
The 2-0 scoreline at Dubai’s Zabeel Stadium on Monday only tells half the story, for this was as convincing a victory as you are likely to see in this year’s competition, with Al Hilal creating chance after chance from start to finish.