AFC Champions League wrap: Kashiwa smash Suwon
By Football News
Japan's Kashiwa Reysol have thumped Suwon Bluewings 6-2 as the Korean club missed three penalties in the AFC Champions League.
Junya Tanaka, Ryoichi Kurisawa and Masato Kudo all scored twice for Kashiwa as they produced a perfect counter-attacking performance in Korea, while Suwon were left to rue missed opportunities in a match full of drama.
Suwon earned four penalties in the second half with Dzenan Radoncic missing one and Jong Tae-Se failing twice from the spot, while Macedonian striker Stevica Ristic converted his penalty for the Bluewings.
Considering the end-to-end action that was to come after the break, Wednesday's first half in Suwon was relatively tame with Tanaka scoring the only goal before half-time when he took advantage of poor defending in the 16th minute.
Having had a goal ruled out for offside just before the break, Suwon took just three minutes of the second half to fashion another chance.
Radoncic stepped up to the spot after a Kashiwa player handled the ball in the box but the Macedonian's penalty was comfortably blocked away by visiting goalkeeper Takanori Sugeno.
Just three minutes later and the visitors led 2-0 after a looping volley from Kurisawa curled into the top corner.
Suwon hit back immediately when Choi Jae-Soo tapped home the rebound after Sugeno saved Jong's header but it was 3-1 in the 55th minute thanks to a curling shot from Kudo, who did well to control the ball under pressure from two defenders.
In the 66th minute, Naoya Kondo fouled Jong in the penalty area but the North Korean striker hit his spot kick over the bar and Kashiwa went straight down the other end for Tanaka to score.
The Bluewings' next penalty came in the 73rd minute as Masato Fujita dragged Jong to the ground and Ristic confidently smashed the ball home.
But the hosts' poor defence again let them down within two minutes as Kurisawa finished from the edge of the area after Kento Kano's shot was saved.
Incredibly, Suwon were awarded another penalty in second-half stoppage time but, inexplicably, Jong stepped up ahead of Ristic and missed the target again before Kashiwa launched another blistering counter-attack with Kudo heading home from Kim Chang-Soo's right-wing cross.
The win took Kashiwa to the top of Champions League Group H with three wins from as many games, while Central Coast Mariners, who defeated Guizhou Renhe 2-1, moved into second on four points.
Suwon are third with two points, while Guizhou are bottom of Group H with one point.
In Group F, Guanghzou Evergrande maintained top spot after a 4-0 thumping of Muangthong United, while Jeonbuk Motors are second, having won 3-1 away to Urawa Red Diamonds.
Qatar's Lekhwiya moved into the lead in Group B with a 3-1 victory over former leaders Pakhtakor, while Al Shabab defeated Al Ittifaq 1-0.
In Group D, Al Ain overcame Al Rayyan 2-1.
More to follow...