Group F: Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors (KOR) 2-1 Kitchee SC (HKG)
Jeonju: Han Kyo-won earned two-time AFC Champions League™ winners Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors a 2-1 win over Hong Kong’s Kitchee in Jeonju on Wednesday as Dan Petrescu’s side made a positive start to their Group F campaign in the 2023/24 edition of the continental club championship.
Han’s clinical 61st minute strike into the bottom corner of Paulo Cesar’s goal was the difference between the teams after Kitchee’s Mikael had cancelled out Hong Jeong-ho’s early header with a opportunistic overhead kick in the 56th minute.
Group F: Lion City Sailors (SGP) 1-2 Bangkok United (THA)
Singapore: Thitiphan Puangjan’s stunning long-range strike saw Bangkok United open their AFC Champions League™ 2023/24 campaign with an entertaining 2-1 victory over Singapore’s Lion City Sailors in Group F on Wednesday.
The home side opened the scoring midway through the first half through Diego Lopes but Bangkok turned the game on its head in the second half with captain Everton equalising shortly after the restart and Thitiphan firing home from distance just after the hour.
Both teams had chances in the closing stages, with Lion City seeing a goal ruled out for offside, as the Thai team held out for the three points.
Group H: Melbourne City (AUS) 0-0 Ventforet Kofu (JPN)
Melbourne: Japanese second division club Ventforet Kofu made an impressive debut in the AFC Champions League™ after they held Melbourne City of Australia to a goalless draw in their Group H opener on Wednesday.
Yoshiyuki Shinoda’s Ventforet did well to keep Melbourne quiet and created the best of the chances – including a Kazuhiro Sato free-kick late in the first half which struck the crossbar.
Kohei Matsumoto and Yoshiki Torikai also had opportunities to score the Japanese team’s first-ever goal in the competition, but goalkeeper Jamie Young helped the A-League side secure a point against the debutants.
Group J: Wuhan Three Towns FC (CHN) 2-2 Urawa Red Diamonds (JPN)
Wuhan: Substitute Jose Kante smashed home an injury time equaliser as defending champions Urawa Red Diamonds of Japan salvaged a 2-2 draw from their opening AFC Champions League™ 2023/24 Group J meeting with China PR’s Wuhan Three Towns on Wednesday.
Kante struck four minutes into added time to rescue Maciej Skorza’s side after Brazilian striker Davidson looked to have given the Chinese Super League champions all three points with his 62nd minute penalty.
Zhang Xiaobin had put Wuhan in front in the 12th minute before Bryan Linssen’s powerful header pulled Urawa level 10 minutes after the interval, only for Davidson to strike from the spot seven minutes later. But Kante’s goal meant the points were shared.
Hanoi: Former AFC Champions League™ winners Pohang Steelers started their 2023/24 campaign with an emphatic 4-2 away win over Vietnamese side Hanoi FC in Group G on Wednesday.
The hosts became the ninth Vietnamese side to appear in the AFC Champions League, and were hoping to become the first from the country to win their first match in the competition, but found the Koreans too powerful for them.