Domestic Leagues

East Asia Wrap: Ulsan open up four-point lead

Hong Kong: Ulsan Hyundai have moved four points clear at the K League 1 summit after easing to victory over FC Seoul on Sunday as title rivals Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors slipped up against Gangwon.

There were goals aplenty in the J1 League with table-toppers Kawasaki Frontale returning to winning ways while Rafael Benitez's Dalian Pro finally got their first win of the season in the Chinese Super League.

And Mongolian Premier League leaders Khangarid's excellent form continued as they won again, so join as we wrap up the best of the action from across East Asia.

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Korea Republic: Crucial results at the top

The two-horse race at the top of Korea Republic's K League 1 took an interesting turn on Sunday as Ulsan Hyundai ran out 3-0 winners over FC Seoul before their day got even better as Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors suffered a surprise 2-1 home loss against Gangwon.

Lee Chung-yong, Junior Negrao and Jung Hoon-sung were all on the scoresheet for Ulsan as they moved four points clear of their rivals with their bid for a first league title since 2005 gathering further momentum.

A goal down against Gangwon, Jeonbuk thought they had salvaged a point when Han Kyo-won levelled in the final five minutes, only for Kim Ji-hyun to score deep into stoppage time and claim all three points for the visitors.

Elsewhere, Sangju Sangmu remain third after bringing an end to bottom side Incheon United's recent good run with a 3-1 win, while Kim Min-woo and Yeom Ki-hun were among the goals as second-from-bottom Suwon Samsung Bluewings came from behind to defeat Busan IPark by the same scoreline.

Pohang Steelers moved up to fourth as Stanislav Iljutcenko's second-half double saw them come from a goal down to defeat Seongnam 2-1 and there was a 10-goal thriller with Gwangju running out 6-4 winners in a topsy-turvy clash with Daegu FC.

Japan: Normal service resumed for Kawasaki

Reo Hatate bagged a brace and there was also a goal for veteran Kengo Nakamura on his first appearance for nine months as J1 League leaders Kawasaki Frontale returned to winning ways on Saturday following a resounding 5-0 victory over Shimizu S-Pulse.

Cerezo Osaka remain their closest challengers, eight points back with a game in hand, after Hiroshi Kiyotake and Bruno Mendes each scored in a 2-1 win against Yokohama FC.

FC Tokyo jumped to third as Brazilians Leandro and Adailton scored in the final 20 minutes to deal Gamba Osaka a 3-1 defeat, while fourth-placed Nagoya Grampus ended goalless against Hokkaido Consadole Sapporo.

Arguably the game of the weekend saw Vissel Kobe come from 3-1 down against Yokohama F. Marinos in the dying minutes as late goals from Noriaki Fujimoto and Kyogo Furuhashi secured a dramatic 3-3 draw.

There was also drama at Kashiwa Soccer Stadium, where Shoma Doi netted at the end of normal time and then again in stoppage time to ensure Kashima Antlers' surge up the table continued with a 3-2 victory over Kashiwa Reysol.

Urawa Red Diamonds defeated Oita Trinita 2-1, meanwhile, with the game between Sanfrecce Hiroshima and Vegalta Sendai ending goalless.

China PR: Dalian claim first victory

A Lin Liangming goal just after the hour saw Rafael Benitez's Dalian Pro pick up their first win in eight attempts in the Chinese Super League as the 1-0 victory over second-placed Shandong Luneng on Saturday helped them move off the bottom of Group A.

That result enabled Guangzhou Evergrande to open up a three-point lead at the summit with Talisca, Fei Nanduo and Elkeson among the goals in their 4-1 win against Shanghai Shenhua.

Elsewhere in Group A, Ivan Santani scored a hat-trick in Jiangsu FC's 5-2 win over Henan Jianye, who fell to the bottom of the table, and Shenzhen FC defeated Guangzhou R&F 2-0.

Group B leaders Shanghai SIPG eased to a 3-0 win over Chongqing Lifan last Wednesday and they are now three points clear of Beijing FC after the capital city side could only manage a 2-2 draw against Shijiazhuang Ever Bright a day later.

Wuhan Zall are third after a 2-1 victory against Tianjin Teda, who remain on one point and look increasingly cut off at the foot, while Hebei CFFC were 2-1 winners against Qingdao Huanghai.

The eight teams in Group B will return to action on Monday and Tuesday with Shanghai SIPG taking on Tianjin and Beijing up against Chongqing.

Mongolia: Khangarid maintain five-point lead

Khangarid remain five points clear at the top of the Mongolian Premier League but the leaders were made to work hard for their three points on Saturday, edging to a 2-1 victory over defending champions Ulaanbaatar City.

But the teams below them just keep on winning, with second-placed Khaan Khuns - Erchim recording their sixth successive victory by seeing off UB Mazaalaynuud 6-0 and third-placed Athletic 220 also going six on the bounce by seeing off bottom side Sumida Gepro 6-1

Finally, Deren claimed a narrow 1-0 win over Anduud City and Ulaanbaatar ran out 4-2 victors against SP Falcons.


Photo: Ulsan Hyundai

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