Kobe: Thorsten Fink warned Vissel Kobe’s future opponents in the AFC Champions League there is more to come from his side after the J.League club handed Malaysian champions Johor Darul Ta’zim a 5-1 defeat without the services of key midfielder Hotaru Yamaguchi.
The Japan international was ruled out of the game due to fever but his absence had little impact on Vissel as Andres Iniesta inspired the Emperor’s Cup winners to a comfortable win, with Keijiro Ogawa scoring a hat-trick as Kobe signaled their intent in the 2020 AFC Champions League.
Kobe: Barcelona and Spain legend Andres Iniesta showed the passing of time has done nothing to dull his ability as he shone on his and club Vissel Kobe's AFC Champions League debut in a 5-1 defeat of Malaysia's Johor Darul Ta'zim.
For 16 years, Iniesta shone in Europe and on Wednesday Asian fans got a chance to view the now 35-year-old Spanish maestro perform on the their own Continental stage.
And the man from Fuentealbilla did not disappoint.
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.
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.