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.
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.
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.
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.
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.