Melbourne City continued their unbeaten start to their first-ever Asian Champions League campaign on Thursday with a 2-1 win over South Korea’s Jeonnam Dragons to move level on points with BG Pathum United in Group G.
Former Arsenal defender Carl Jenkinson had his 12th-minute opener at Pathum Thani Stadium canceled by Lee Kyu-hyuk, but Andrew Nabbout restored Melbourne’s lead in the 22nd minute to give the three points to Patrick Kisnorbo. The result means City are level on seven points with BG Pathum United halfway through the group stage following their 5-0 win over United City of the Philippines.
Jenkinson put City ahead with a low drive that beat Kim Da-sol but Lee Kyu-hyuk’s deflected effort found a way past Tom Glover at the other end to level the score. Nabbout restored the lead to the A-League champions when he blasted his way through three defenders after cutting down the right before converting.
The BG Pathum United side scored four times in the final 15 minutes of their encounter with United City to maintain their unbeaten start to the campaign. Kanokpon Buspakom’s goal at the near post gave Makoto Teguramori’s side the lead three minutes before the break, but it took a late push from the Thais to put the result beyond doubt.
The winners of the five East Asian groups will advance to the round of 16, where they will be joined by the three runners-up with the best records. Former champions Ulsan Hyundai beat Guangzhou FC 3-0 in Group I, with Mark Koszta’s free kick giving Hong Myung-bo’s side the lead in the 28th minute.
Park Chu-young’s volley and a close-range shot from Yun Il-lok earned Ulsan their first win of the group stage. Ulsan, however, lead group leader Johor Darul Ta’zim by three points after the Malaysian champions drew 0-0 with Japan’s Kawasaki Frontale. Kawasaki is second with five points.
In Group F, South Korea’s Daegu FC handed two-time champions Urawa Red Diamonds a 1-0 defeat to take the top spot. Brazilian Zeca scored with a downward header to move Daegu level on points with Urawa but ahead of the Japanese side thanks to a better one-on-one record.
Singapore’s Lion City Sailors are third with four points after being held 0-0 by China’s Shandong Taishan.
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