AFC Champions League Wrap: 'Lacklustre' Guangzhou held, Ulsan win again
By Football News
Marcello Lippi hit out at a "lacklustre" Guangzhou Evergrande after Wednesday's AFC Champions League 1-1 draw against Yokohama F Marinos.
The holders were not at their best against the Japanese outfit as Alessandro Diamanti was required to again come up with the goods and ensure Lippi's side a share of the spoils.
Diamanti levelled things up after Jin Hanato had given Yokohama a 21st-minute lead, though neither side could find a winner in a game of few chances.
Guangzhou opened their Chinese Super League campaign with a 3-0 win over Henan Jianye at the weekend but they came unstuck against the Japanese, leaving Lippi to question their will to win.
"Our performance was lacklustre today, partly because we had some injuries and we have played a few games over a short period of time," explained the Italian.
"However, our players are lacking the strong desire to win that they had last season. Obviously they have a different mental condition from last year."
Things could have been worse for Lippi however, had Melbourne Victory not denied Jeonbuk Motors with Kosta Barbarouses' 81st-minute equaliser to snatch a 1-1 draw of their own.
Lee Dong-Gook's brace looked set to have secured a second straight win for the visitors but their stalemate keeps them level with Guangzhou on four points in Group G.
Ulsan left it late to make it two wins from two in Group H, Yoo Jun-Su and Kim Shin-Wook scoring in the final five minutes to edge Kawasaki Frontale 2-0, while Western Sydney Wanderers picked up their maiden Champions League win thanks to a 1-0 victory over the pool's bottom side Guizhou Renhe.
In Group D, Sepahan produced a late fightback to edge Al-Hilal 3-2 and move within a point of leaders Al-Sadd - substitute Xhevahir Sukaj sealing the three points in injury time after Segundo Castillo and Thiago Neves had put the visitors 2-1 ahead before the break.
Al Sadd were held 1-1 by Al-Ahli after Grafite levelled within 22 minutes remaining while Tractorsazi Tabriz top Group C after their 0-0 draw with Lekhwiya at the Abdullah Bin Khalifa Stadium.
The Iranian side now lead by a point, despite ending the game within 10 men, with Al-Ain beaten 2-1 at Al-Ittihad in the day's late game.
Mukhtar Fallatah stole the show - scoring twice in the latter stages of the game to make amends for his earlier penalty miss and cancel out Asamoah Gyan's opener.