Domestic Leagues

East Asia Wrap: Jeonbuk crowned Korea Republic's kings 

Hong Kong: Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors made it four league titles in a row as they claimed an eighth domestic championship following the K League 1's final matchday on Sunday.

The Chinese Super League knockout stages continue with some rollercoaster ties, while a big-name in Japan marked his birthday in the perfect way before announcing his upcoming retirement.

There were also goal-filled enounters in the Macau league, so join as we wrap up the best of the domestic action from across East Asia.

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Korea Repulic: Cho double seals the title for record-breaking Jeonbuk

The psychological blow was dealt on the penultimate matchweek when Jeonbuk defeated – and leapfrogged – title contenders Ulsan Hyundai with Sunday's mission for the Jeonju side clear: avoid defeat to Daegu and the title was theirs regardless of Ulsan's result against Gwangju.

Cho Gue-sung calmed any Jeonbuk nerves with a 27th-minute opener before doubling the lead five minutes before the break. Jose Morais' side closed out the game in the second half to earn a record eighth title and an unprecedented fourth consecutively.

Jeonbuk's result ultimately made Ulsan Hyundai's 3-0 win over Gwangju redundant, although the league's top scorer Junior Negrao did net his 26th of the season to cap a fine individual campaign.

In the other Championship Round tie Pohang Steelers defeated Sangju Sangmu 3-1 to sign off an impressive campaign with a victory as they finished third, seven points behind Ulsan.

At the other end of the table there was plenty of drama as Seongnam FC came back from a goal down to fellow relegation candidates Busan IPark and condemned their opponents to the drop instead.

Incheon United, meanwhile, completed yet another improbable great escape with a 1-0 win over neighbours FC Seoul. Suwon Samsung Bluewings, meanwhile, edged Gangwon 2-1 thanks to goals from foreign stars Doneil Henry and Adam Taggart.

China PR: Guangzhou and Jiangsu to play out final

Defending champions Guangzhou Evergrande will take on Jiangsu FC to determine the 2020 Chinese Super League champions after they defeated Beijing FC and Shanghai SIPG in the semi-finals that concluded on Monday.

Jiangsu's victory over SIPG was the more dramatic as the 10-men went through courtesy of an extra-time screamer from substitute Luo Jing having planned over an hour of the tie with a numerical disadvantage after Abduhamit Abdugheni's 57th minute sending off.

For the holders, Guangzhou, passage was rather smoother as a 3-1 win over Beijing FC secured their place with Paulinho netting a brace. The final will be played over two legs on November 8 and 12 respectively.

Meanwhile, in the 5th – 8th place play-offs to determine the final standings, Shandong Luneng defeated Hebei CFFC 8-5 on aggregate after a stunning 6-3 extra-time victory, while Chongqing Lifan bested Shanghai Shenhua on penalties.

In the ties for 9th – 12th place, Henan Jianye came out on top against Guangzhou R&F thanks to a 3-2 win on Sunday that confirmed a 5-3 aggregate win, while a day earlier Dalian Pro's 2-1 defeat of Tianjin Teda was not enough as they fell to a 3-2 aggregate loss.

And finally in the battle to avoid the drop, the first-leg advantages are with Shenzhen FC and Wuhan Zall after they secured narrow wins over Shijiazhuang Ever Bright and Qingdao Huanghai last week.

Japan: Kengo Nakamura takes the headlines

With the Tamagawa Clasico played over the weekend, all eyes would have already been on the derby between league leaders Kawasaki Frontale and FC Tokyo, but it was Frontale's icon Kengo Nakamura who ensured it was a particularly poignant tie.

Making just his fourth start in an injury-interrupted season on his 40th birthday, the veteran sensationally scored the winner with 16 minutes remaining to ensure bragging rights went to the home side as well as their 22nd win from 25 matches in what has been a simply stunning campaign.

If that wasn't newsworthy enough, though, the following day Frontale held a press conference in which one-club man Nakamura confirmed the 2020 season would be his last, bringing an end to his career as a professional football player.

Elsewhere, Gamba Osaka's fine form continued as they edged Consadole Sapporo 2-1 to maintain their grip on second place, although Nagoya Grampus' 2-0 win away at Kashima Antlers means they are just three points further back, level with Gamba's city rivals Cerezo, albeit with a game played more.

The defeat for 2020 AFC Champions League participants FC Tokyo sees them drop to fifth with Kashima Antlers occupying sixth place while another Continental contender heading to Doha later this month, Yokohama F. Marinos, are in seventh.

Macau: Top two enjoy big wins

C.P.K and Benfica de Macau look set to already draw away from the chasing pack in Macau's top flight as the two undefeated clubs picked up 4-0 and 10-0 wins over Ching Fung and Lun Lok respectively.

Meanwhile Sporting put five past Monte Carlo in a comprehensive 5-1 win, while Casa de Portugal edged H.S. 3-2.

In the final game of the weekend, Ka I defeated Policia 2-0 on Sunday.


Photos: Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors

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