Group H: Yokohama F Marinos firmly in control with win over Hoang Anh Gia Lai
Ho Chi Minh City: Marcos Junior’s penalty and a header from Shinnosuke Hatanaka ensured Yokohama F Marinos go into the final round of Group H matches in the AFC Champions League™ 2022 in pole position as Kevin Muscat’s side handed Hoang Anh Gia Lai a 2-0 defeat on Thursday.
The Brazilian striker sent HAGL goalkeeper Huynh Tuan Linh the wrong way with his 36th minute spot-kick and Hatanaka put the result beyond doubt eight minutes from time as F Marinos moved onto 12 points from five games with one round of matches remaining.
The margin of victory was well deserved for the Japanese side, who dominated throughout at Hoh Chi Minh City’s Thong Nhat Stadium against Kiatisuk Senamuang’s already-eliminated team.
Mora vows to extend Johor Darul Ta’zim’s fairytale run
Johor Bahru: Johor Darul Ta’zim (JDT) head coach Benjamin Mora has been the mastermind behind the Southern Tigers’ historic form in this year’s AFC Champions League™ and the tactician believes his side’s 2-0 victory over Group I opponents Guangzhou FC on Wednesday serves as a major boost to scale their final hurdle as they seek to seal a maiden appearance in the Round of 16.
Victory on Wednesday saw the Southern Tigers rebound bravely from their 5-0 defeat at the hands of Kawasaki Frontale to claim 10 points to top the group, setting up an all-or-nothing battle with Ulsan Hyundai on Saturday, also on equal points, in what promises to be a nail-biting finish to Group I.
Johor Bahru: Ulsan Hyundai Brazilian ace Leonardo has hailed his side for their remarkable turnaround to emerge as Group I frontrunners after the K League leaders laboured to a 3-2 victory over Kawasaki Frontale in a captivating encounter on Wednesday.
Having collected just the single point in their opening two matches, Ulsan were staring at the prospect of an early exit with defeat to their Japanese opponents almost certain to seal their passage home.
But an impressive run of three successive wins has propelled Ulsan into second place and Leonardo, who was instrumental in all three of his side’s goals – scoring Ulsan’s opener before assisting Um Won-sang and Vako Qazaishvili – is brimming with confidence as the Horangi head into their final winner-takes-all battle against Johor Darul Ta’zim on Saturday.
Improving Daegu please Gama, Yu urges Shandong Taishan to fight on
Buriram: Daegu FC cruised to a resounding 4-0 win over Shandong Taishan FC on Matchday Five of the AFC Champions League™ 2022 on Wednesday, and head coach Alexandre Gama believes it’s a good indicator of the team's improvement.
Two goals in either half propelled Daegu to the top of Group F, level with Urawa Red Diamonds on 10 points to set up a do-or-die encounter with Lion City Sailors FC on Saturday for the sole automatic slot into the Round of 16.
Rodriguez hails Urawa Red Diamonds’ efficiency, Kim looks to further develop Lion City Sailors
Buriram: Head coach Ricardo Rodriguez praised his Urawa Red Diamonds side for their clinical display in the 6-0 defeat of Lion City Sailors FC in Group F of the AFC Champions League™ 2022 on Wednesday.
Kazuaki Mawatari opened the scoring in the 14th minute with Alex Schalk doubling their lead in the 39th minute, before goals from David Moberg, Yoshio Koizumi and a Yusuke Matsuo-brace in the second half saw the two-time champions secure three crucial points.
It was a vital win for the J1 League club side as they are now joint-leaders with Daegu FC on 10 points.
Pathum Thani: Jeonnam Dragons head coach Jeon Kyeong-joon declared his side would fight until all AFC Champions League™ 2022 hope was lost after they kept their campaign alive with a scrappy 2-0 win over United City FC on Wednesday.
Goals from substitutes Leonard Pllana and Park In-hyeok got the Korean FA Cup winners the points they needed to move within two of second Melbourne City, although it was only after United City’s Kieran Hayes was sent off that they took control of the game.
Teguramori urges players to move on, Kisnorbo applauds Melbourne City spirit
Pathum Thani: BG Pathum United head coach Makoto Teguramori instructed his players to look ahead, while Patrick Kisnorbo praised the mentality of his Melbourne City charges after the sides played out a compelling 0-0 AFC Champions League™ 2022 draw on Wednesday.
The result keeps BG Pathum United two points clear of the A-League champions on top of Group G after five of six Matchdays, with a victory over Jeonnam Dragons on Saturday to secure top spot in the section.
The path is trickier for Melbourne City, who can still leapfrog the Rabbits, particularly if they win their final match against United City, but will potentially need results in other groups to fall in their favour if they finish second, with only the best three runners-up in the East Zone to advance.