No sweat as Antlers spear Persipura

Kashima beat Indonesians 5-0 while Adelaide come from behind to win in ACL.

    Persipura go for some rugby tactics against Yuya Osako [AFP]

    Japanese giants Kashima Antlers and Australia's Adelaide United powered to victories in the Asian Champions League to keep their unbeaten records intact.

    Kashima crushed Indonesian minnows Persipura Jayapura 5-0 with strikes by Yuya Osako, Toru Araiba, and Mitsuo Ogasawara and a brace from Brazilian striker Marquinhos making it three wins out of three.

    The J-League outfit started strongly on Wednesday but the slippery conditions hampered them until Araiba made the breakthrough on 39 minutes when his cross found the net.

    A minute into first-half injury time and Marquinhos doubled their lead after meeting a Daiki Iwamasa corner kick.

    Kashima were in a different class and three more goals in the second-half ended a miserable night for hapless Persipura who have now conceded 13 times in three games.

    Korea international Lee Dong-Gook's last-gasp goal helped secure  a hard-fought 2-1 victory for Jeonbuk Motors over Changchun Yatai in the other Group F game.

    Substitute Du Zhenyu put hosts Changchun ahead in the 64th  minute with a left-footed drive that was cancelled out by Choi Tae-Uk 10 minutes later.

    EPL spell

    Lee, who had a brief spell with Middlesbrough in the English Premier League, scored the winner for the K-League champions five minutes before the final whistle, curling home Seo Jung-Jin's pass inside the box.

    Results & fixtures

    Wednesday March 24

    Group B
     Zobahan 3-0 Bunyodkor
     Al Wahda 0-2 Al Ittihad

    Group D
     Al Sadd 4-1 Mes Kerman
     Al Hilal 1-1 Al Ahli

    Group F
     Changchun 1-2 Jeonbuk
     Kashima 5-0 Persipura

    Group H
     Adelaide 3-2 Hiroshima
     Pohang 1-0 Shandong

    At Hindmarsh Stadium, Adelaide moved closer to the knockout round with a come-from-behind 3-2 win over Japan's Sanfrecce Hiroshima in Group H.

    Adelaide bounced back after Sanfrecce took the lead, scoring twice in four minutes to remain unbeaten.

    Captain Travis Dodd opened the scoring with a glancing header after 11 minutes but Sanfrecce raced to a 2-1 lead after a volley from Kazuyuki Morisaki in the 55th minute and a header from Issei Takayanagi 20 minutes later.

    But giant defender Robert Cornthwaite headed a 78th-minute equaliser and Brazilian Cassio found the net with a deflected free kick to claim victory for the Reds with eight minutes left.

    Defending champions Pohang Steelers of Korea remained second in the group after a hard-fought 1-0 home win over China's Shandong Luneng with Noh Byung-Joon's seventh minute goal enough to secure three points.

    Elsewhere, Saudi Arabia's Al Hilal were looking to continue their impressive start to the competition when they hosted UAE champions Al Ahli in Group D, but could only manage a 1-1 draw after an injury-time equaliser from the visitors.

    The Riyadh club, coached by former Belgian World Cup star Eric Gerets, had won both their previous games.

    Al Ahli have yet to pick up a point and sit behind Qatar's Al Sadd and Mes Kerman from Iran, who met in the group's other clash.

    Al Sadd won 4-1 despite going a goal down to a Luciano strike.

    Saudi giants Al Ittihad beat Al Wahda 2-0 in the UAE.

    Luiz Felipe Scolari's Uzbek champions Bunyodkor lost their perfect start to the season with a 3-0 defeat to Zobahan.



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