Lippi lauds Guangzhou’s superb effort
Coach Marcello Lippi heralded his Guangzhou Evergrande side’s comprehensive 5-1 victory over Cerezo Osaka in their Asian Champions League last-16 first leg at Nagai Stadium yesterday that all but booked their place in the quarter-finals.
Two goals from Guangzhou’s Brazilian duo Elkeson and Muriqui and a goal from China international forward Gao Lin overwhelmed the J-League side, who only have an effort from Aria Jasuru Hasegawa to take with them to China next week in what will be a mammoth task at Tianhe Stadium.
Under Lippi, the defending champion’s record against J-League sides is nine out of 10 in the continental competition, but there have been few performances as one-sided as the encounter in Osaka.
“This is a delightful win for us, even though we were not expecting to win by such a large margin,” the Italian said.
“We had watched their games on video and I don’t think they changed much. The only difference was that we played much better than I had expected, not their performance.”
Three-time Asian champions Pohang Steelers recorded a 2-1 come-from-behind win over fellow South Korean side Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors.
A goalless first period was followed by a much improved second half as home side Jeonbuk took the lead through Lee Jae-sung on 53 minutes.
But, as they had done in the K-League Classic meeting between the sides in March, Pohang snatched victory from the jaws of defeat with goals on 58 minutes from Son Jun-ho and Go Moo-yul on 73 minutes at Jeonju World Cup Stadium.
The current K-League Classic champions host Jeonbuk in next week’s second leg at The Steelyard with a goal advantage and the additional bonus of two priceless away goals.
At Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, Muhtar Fallatah’s goal in the 75th minute lifted Al Ittihad to a 1-0 win over Al Shabab.
Published: May 7, 2014 04:00 AM