East Asia Leagues Wrap: Late drama in China PR and Korea Republic
Kuala Lumpur: There was no shortage of drama across East Asia at the weekend and while the league leaders remained the same in China PR, Korea Republic and Japan, there were plenty of talking points.
Beijing FC benefitted from goals in added time but Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors suffered late agony, while FC Tokyo are opening up a lead in Japan. Elsewhere, the top of the table remains tight in both Chinese Taipei and Mongolia, so join the-AFC.com as we bring you up to speed after an eventful weekend.
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Guangzhou Evergrande maintained their four-point lead over Beijing FC at the Chinese Super League summit after scoring three second-half goals to record an impressive 3-0 away win at fourth-place Shandong Luneng.
New Beijing FC coach Bruno Genesio enjoyed a winning start, but only just, as stoppage-time goals from Renato Augusto and Cedric Bakambu secured a last-gasp 2-0 victory over Hebei CFFC to also end a run of three successive defeats.
Defending champions Shanghai SIPG, meanwhile, continue to lose ground as a scoreless draw with Tianjin Tianhai was their third successive stalemate and leaves them six points adrift of Guangzhou.
In the K League, Ulsan Hyundai have opened up a four-point-gap on Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors following a resounding 5-0 win over third from bottom Jeju United on Saturday
Going into the weekend two points clear, Ulsan received a further boost a day later after fourth-placed Gangwon netted in the 91st minute and, incredibly, the 101st minute to seal a stunning 3-3 draw against Jeonbuk.
FC Seoul returned to winning ways after seeing off Daegu FC 2-1, but they remain nine points adrift of the league leaders, while Incheon United stay bottom following a 1-0 loss to Seongnam.
FC Tokyo enjoyed a superb weekend as the capital city club defeated Cerezo Osaka 3-0 to extend their lead at the J.League summit to six points after all their top-four rivals dropped points.
Reigning champions Kawasaki Frontale moved above Yokohama F. Marinos – who lost 1-0 at home to Shimizu S-Pulse – into second place but could only manage a scoreless draw against Matsumoto Yamaga, while fourth-placed Kashima Antlers lost 3-2 to Shonan Bellmare.
AFC Champions League quarter-finalists Urawa Red Diamonds came from two down to secure a 2-2 draw against Nagoya Grampus but continue to languish in mid-table, while Sagan Tosu leapfrogged Jubilo Iwata at the foot of the table after drawing 2-2 with Oita Trinita.
There was a top-of-the-table clash in Chinese Taipei as first-place Tatung visited second-placed Taipower and the ensuing 1-1 draw means the pair remain neck-and-neck on 27 points.
Third-placed Tainan City were unable to make up any ground, though, as they lost 3-2 against TSU, while Hang Yuen FC and Taichung Futuro each recorded 5-0 wins over FC Taicheng and Ming Chuan University respectively.
And finally, FC Erchim held onto the lead in Mongolia but are now above Ulaanbaatar City on goal difference alone after playing out a 1-1 against third-placed Athletic 220 on Sunday.
Ulaanbaatar City had returned to the top of the table a day earlier after seeing off SP Falcons 2-1 but dropped back to second in a race that looks set to go the distance.
Photo: Ulsan Hyundai
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