Domestic Leagues

East Asia Wrap: Away wins galore in J1 League

Kuala Lumpur: Eight of the nine games in Japan's J1 League ended in away victories at the weekend with not a single home win recorded as Kawasaki Frontale won the battle of the top two to stretch their lead to five points at the summit. 

Fans returned to stadiums across Korea Republic, where it was a case of déjà vu in the K League 1 as Junior Negrao was yet again on the scoresheet in an Ulsan Hyundai win, although Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors remain hot on their heels.

Guangzhou Evergrande claimed derby day bragging rights by easing to a 5-0 victory over city rivals Guangzhou R&F in China PR, while there was also a full set of fixtures in both Mongolia and Chinese Taipei, so join as we review the best of the action from across East Asia.

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Japan: Away-day joy in J1 League

An incredible set of results in Japan saw eight of the nine J1 League fixtures finish with the away side picking up all three points while the other tie ended in a stalemate as the league leaders and defending champions were among the teams to claim victories.

Kawasaki Frontale made it seven successive wins with Ryota Oshima scoring the only goal of the game to see off Gamba Osaka, who were second going into the weekend, 1-0 on Saturday as they moved five points clear at the top.

Gamba's city rivals Cerezo moved up to second after Hiroshi Kiyotake's second-half penalty was enough to secure a 1-0 win over Shonan Bellmare, while Kashiwa Reysol are up to fourth as Michael Olunga's goal against Nagoya Grampus sealed another 1-0 victory and their fourth win on the bounce.

Defending champions Yokohama F. Marinos left it late but took all three points against Vegalta Sendai thanks to Marcos Junior's 95th-minute goal but fellow 2020 AFC Champions League participants FC Tokyo slumped to a surprise 3-2 loss against Sagan Tosu.

The biggest winners of the weekend were Kashima Antlers, who moved off the foot of the table after Everaldo scored a hat-trick in a 4-1 victory over Oita Trinita, while Yokohama FC fell into the bottom two following a 2-0 loss against Sanfrecce Hiroshima.

Urawa Red Diamonds were the only team not to suffer a home defeat as they drew 1-1 against Shimuzu S-Pulse, before Vissel Kobe rounded off the weekend's action with a 3-2 win against Hokkaido Consadole Sapporo on Sunday.

Korea: Fans return as Ulsan march on

Supporters were allowed back into stadiums in Korea Republic at the weekend with venues permitted to open to 10 percent of capacity as the K League 1's top two stretched their lead further.

It was business as usual for Ulsan Hyundai and Junior Negrao with the Brazilian striker scoring his 18th goal of the season to seal a 2-1 victory at Busan IPark and stay three points above second-place Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors.

The Jeonju team, however, appear to be returning to form after a mini slump with Kim Bo-kyung netting the decisive goal as the defending champions came from one down to defeat Pohang Steelers 2-1.

Daegu FC are up to third after substitute Edgar Silva scored a late winner in a 1-0 victory over Suwon Samsung Bluewings, whose struggles continued as they remain third from bottom.

There was a crucial win for FC Seoul, meanwhile, as the capital city side ended a run of three losses on the bounce with Yun Ju-tae bagging a brace in a 2-1 victory against Seongnam in their first game following the departure of their head coach Choi Yong-soo.

Incheon United remain rooted at the foot, losing 3-1 to Gwangju, while the weekend's only other game ended in a 2-2 stalemate between Gangwon and Sangju Sangmu.

China PR: Big three make it two from two

Five different players were on the scoresheet as Guangzhou Evergrande made it two wins from two in Group A of the Chinese Super League by running out convincing 5-0 winners over neighbours Guangzhou R&F on Thursday.

The defending champions are now two points clear of both Jiangsu FC and Shandong Luneng after the pair played out a goalless draw on Friday, while Dalian Pro and Henan Jianye ended 1-1.

The 2019 FA Cup winners Shanghai Shenhua picked up their first points of the campaign with Kim Shin-wook's second-half penalty proving decisive in a 3-2 victory against Shenzhen FC.

In Group B, Marko Arnautovic and Ricardo Lopes each scored twice as Shanghai SIPG ran out resounding 4-0 winners over Hebei CFFC to stay ahead of Beijing FC on goal difference after the capital city side's Jonathan Viera struck early in a 1-0 victory against Wuhan Zall.

Tianjin Teda levelled in the fifth minute of stoppage time to secure a 2-2 draw against Chongqing Lifan while the game between Shijiazhuang Ever Bright and Qingdao Huanghai also ended 2-2.

Mongolia: Khangarid make it six wins in a row

There's no stopping the Mongolian Premier League leaders Khangarid at present as they ran out 4-2 winners against Athletic 2020 on Sunday with what was their sixth successive victory.

Second-placed Ulaanbaatar remain two points back after storming to a 6-0 win over bottom side Sumida Gepro on Saturday with what was their fifth successive victory and their opponents' sixth loss on the bounce.

Elsewhere, SP Falcons were huge 5-0 winners over defending champions Ulaanbaatar City and Anduud City wrapped up their first win of the campaign by seeing off UB Mazaalaynuud 3-0.

Chinese Taipei: Two points separate top three

Taipower FC stayed two points clear at the summit in Chinese Taipei after a 2-0 victory over TSU FC on Sunday but just two points separate them and third-placed Taichung Futuro as the race for the title heats up.

Tainan City made it five consecutive wins after edging Hang Yuan FC 1-0 to stay second while Taichung Futuro overcame bottom side Taipei Red Lions 3-1 and are in third.

Finally, defending champions Tatung saw off Ming Chuan University 1-0 but are down in fifth, seven points off the pace.


Photo: Kawasaki Frontale

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