Domestic Leagues

East Asia Wrap: Kashima pick up first win as defending champions slump


Hong Kong: Kashima Antlers claimed their first victory of the season to move off the foot of the J.League and condemn defending champions Yokohama F.Marinos to a third defeat in five games after a 4-2 scoreline. 

Ulsan Hyundai have opened up a three-point lead at the top of Korea Republic's K League after they made it three wins in a row while second-placed Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors dropped points once again.

Elsewhere, there was action in Chinese Taipei and Mongolia while the 2020 Chinese Super League is just days away from getting underway, so join the-AFC.com as we review the action from across East Asia.

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Japan: Kashima off the mark to down reigning champions

After four successive defeats, Kashima Antlers finally picked up their first points of the season as an Ayase Ueda brace and further goals from Everaldo and Ryohei Shirasaki helped the Ibaraki side seal a 4-2 win over Yokohama F. Marinos on Saturday.

The win saw Kashima rise from the bottom to 15th, just a place behind Ange Postecoglou's Marinos, who have claimed just four points from their opening five games and already have plenty to do to catch the early pacesetters.

Kawasaki Frontale remain top after netting four times in the final 15 minutes to run out 5-1 winners over Yokohama FC, while FC Tokyo are second as goals from Diego Oliveira and Adailton saw off Urawa Red Diamonds 2-0.

Cerezo Osaka are third following their 2-1 win at Sanfrecce Hiroshima with unbeaten Nagoya Grampus in fourth after they edged Sagan Tosu 1-0. The top five is completed by Gamba Osaka, who came from a goal down to beat Oita Trinita 2-1.

Vissel Kobe moved into the top half of the table as Kyogo Furuhashi scored two and created one in a 3-1 victory over Shimuzu S-Pulse, who dropped to the bottom and are still in search of their first points of the campaign.

Kashiwa Reysol brought their three-game losing run to an end by overcoming Shonan Bellmare 3-2, while Hokkaido Consadole Sapporo came from two down to draw 2-2 against Vegalta Sendai after a stoppage-time equaliser from Shunta Tanaka.


Korea Republic: Ulsan open up three-point lead

Junior Negrao chalked up goal number 15 of the K League campaign as the Brazilian's first-half penalty was enough for Ulsan Hyundai to defeat Gangwon 1-0 on Sunday and move three points clear of Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors.

Defending champions Jeonbuk are enduring a mini slump at present, with their 1-1 draw at bottom side Incheon United - secured after Lee Seung-gi levelled with 12 minutes to play - their third game without a victory.

Sangju Sangmu's excellent campaign continues, meanwhile, as they stayed third, just two points adrift of Jeonbuk, following a 2-0 win over Daegu FC.

Pohang Steelers are in fourth after Stanislav Iljutcenko netted twice as they came from a goal down to run out 3-1 winners over FC Seoul, with the capital city side dropping to second from bottom.

Another big name struggling at the wrong end of the table is Suwon Samsung Bluewings, who suffered a 1-0 home loss to Seongnam, while Busan IPark and Gwangju ended goalless.


China: Goulart joins Hebei on loan

As the start of the 2020 Chinese Super League draws ever closer, Hebei CFFC have announced the loan signing of Ricardo Goulart from Guangzhou Evergrande. The 2015 AFC Champions League winner, MVP and Top Scorer will be a big boost to the forward line of Hebei following the retirement of Argentine Ezequiel Lavezzi.

Joining Goulart in Hebei will be Sierra Leone international Mohamed Buya Turay, who joins from Belgian side Sint-Truiden after spending 2019 on loan in Sweden and is set to embark on his first foray into Asian football.

Shanghai Shenhua have also confirmed the signing of Yu Hanchao, meanwhile, with the midfielder joining as a free agent after departing Guangzhou Evergrande earlier in the year.

The 2020 campaign kicks off on Saturday, with two groups of eight teams to be staged in the cities of Dalian and Suzhou before moving into a knockout round format later in the year.


Chinese Taipei: Taipower edge thriller to move five points clear

Top played bottom in Chinese Taipei although Taipower were made to work hard to claim all three points as they ran out 5-4 winners over Taipei Red Lions to move five points clear at the top of the standings.

Second-placed Taichung Futuro lost their second game in succession after going down 1-0 against Tainan City, while Hang Yuan FC were 2-0 winners over Ming Chuan University.

The only other game of the weekend saw defending champions Tatung claim a resounding 7-1 victory against TSU FC.


Mongolia: Khangarid remain perfect

Khangarid made it three wins from three in Mongolia by claiming a 2-1 victory over defending champions Ulaanbaatar City on Sunday to move two points clear at the top of the table.

Khaan Khuns – Erchim are in second after easing past UB Mazaalaynuud 6-0 while another big winner were Athletic 220, who overcame Sumida Gepro 8-1.

Finally, Ulaanbaatar condemned Falcons to a first loss of the season after a 2-0 win, with the game between Anduud City and Deren ending goalless.


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Photo: Kashima Antlers

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