Kashima: Sanfrecce Hiroshima midfielder Tsukasa Morishima admitted that conceding first put the visitors on the backfoot against AFC Champions League holders Kashima Antlers after Tuesday's Round of 16 first leg defeat in Ibaraki.
Sanfrecce had entered the tie at Kashima Soccer Stadium on the back of a five-match winning run in the Continental tournament, but on 24 minutes the hosts' Brazilian star Serginho rediscovered his golden touch at this phase of the competition to net his sixth goal in seven knockout stage appearances.
The away side responded to going behind and would ultimately dominate possesion (60 percent to 40 percent) as well as have more efforts on goal than their hosts in the match, but they were unable to make their chances count.
The late sending off of midfielder Sho Inagaki also compounded matters on a difficult night for Morishima and his teammates.
Kashima Antlers earned a slim advantage over J.League rivals Sanfrecce Hiroshima after the first leg of the AFC Champions League last 16 with a 1-0 win at home on Tuesday.
Serginho proved to be the lone goalscorer of the match with a first-half header for the defending champions. This was the first all-Japanese tie in the Round of 16 since 2011 and the 17th overall between clubs from Japan in the history of the AFC Champions League.
Both sides were coming off inspiring 2-0 home wins in domestic competition at the weekend as the title holders and Hiroshima clashed for the first time in Asia’s flagship club tournament.
Ibaraki: Shoma Doi has admitted that it is vital Kashima Antlers will start the second leg of the 2019 AFC Champions League Round of 16 against Sanfrecce Hiroshima in the lead after the holders secured a hard-fought 1-0 victory in the first leg on Tuesday.
The clash at Kashima Soccer Stadium paired the two sides against Japanese opposition for the first time ever in the Continental competition and it was Sanfrecce who went into the game as the form team having won five in a row in the group stage.
But in a closely contested match it was defending champions Kashima who gained the upper hand after Brazilian Serginho scored the only goal of the game midway through the first half following excellent work from Doi.
Guangzhou: Wei Shihao has sung the praises of Guangzhou Evergrande’s doctor after the attacking midfielder returned from injury to open the scoring in the 2-1 first leg victory in the last 16 against Shandong Luneng on Tuesday.
The 24-year-old had been out of action in recent weeks, missing China PR’s games against the Philippines and Tajikistan, but returned for the 2-0 victory over Shanghai SIPG on Friday and then played a crucial role in the win over domestic rivals Shandong in the 2019 AFC Champions League.
Having missed a gilt-edged opportunity early in the game, Wei put the two-time winners in front in the 35th minute and was then quick to show his appreciation to doctor Silvano Cotti, running straight to the bench to embrace the Italian.
Round of 16 - 1st Leg: Shanghai SIPG FC (CHN) 1-1 Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors FC (KOR)
Shanghai: Two-time champions Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors will take the slimmest of advantages into the second leg of their 2019 AFC Champions League Round of 16 meeting with China PR’s Shanghai SIPG FC next week after picking up an away goal in their 1-1 draw at the Shanghai Stadium on Wednesday.
Moon Seon-min gave Jeonbuk a dream start when Jose Morais’ side took the lead with less than a minute on the clock only for Wang Shenchao to level the scores six minutes before half-time with a close range header.
But Moon’s goal means a goalless draw next week at the Jeonju World Cup Stadium will be enough for the 2006 and 2016 winners to advance to the last eight of the competition for the ninth time in their history.
Round of 16 - 1st Leg: Urawa Red Diamonds (JPN) 1-2 Ulsan Hyundai FC (KOR)
Saitama: Ulsan Hyundai came back from going a goal behind to defeat Urawa Red Diamonds 2-1 on Wednesday as the 2012 winners claimed a first leg lead in the teams’ 2019 AFC Champions League Round of 16 meeting at Saitama Stadium.
Hwang Il-su came off the bench to bury a late winner to hand Ulsan not only the win but two crucial away goals ahead of next week’s tie in Korea Republic. Kenyu Sugimoto opened his AFC Champions League account in the first half before Joo Min-kyu restored parity ahead of the intermission.
The game pitted the two former winners of the tournament against one another for the first time in the AFC Champions League, which could be considered surprising given the frequent appearance of the clubs on this stage.
Round of 16 - 1st Leg: Guangzhou Evergrande FC (CHN) 2-1 Shandong Luneng FC (CHN)
Guangzhou: Yang Liyu’s deflected effort 10 minutes from time earned Guangzhou Evergrande a slim 2-1 advantage over fellow Chinese Super League side Shandong Luneng on Tuesday in the first leg of their 2019 AFC Champions League clash at Tianhe Stadium.
Wei Shihao put two-time champions Guangzhou Evergrande in front 10 minutes before halftime but a stunning strike from Zhang Chi midway through the second period earned Shandong an away goal ahead of next week’s clash in Jinan.
But Yang’s effort in the 80th minute which took a deflection off Shandong defender Zheng Zheng means Guangzhou are 90 minutes away from booking their place in the last eight of the competition for the sixth time in eight seasons.