WATCH: Record signing Alex Teixeira starts paying back his transfer fee as Jiangsu beat Jeonbuk in AFC Champions League
China’s big spenders get off the mark with 3-2 win over Koreans – but fellow big name Ramires is sent off
China’s record signing Alex Teixeira helped kick-start Jiangsu Suning’s AFC Champions League campaign on Tuesday as the big spenders got off the mark with a tense 3-2 win over Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors.
Teixeira started to repay his giant 50 million euros ($54.4 million) transfer fee from Shakhtar Donetsk as he grabbed the opener in what became Jiangsu’s first win of the tournament.
Former Manchester City forward Jo also got on the scoresheet, but Jiangsu’s victory came at a cost as ex-Chelsea midfielder Ramires saw red during an injury-time melee.
The well-heeled Chinese side were held by Vietnam’s Binh Duong in their opening game but it was a different story at home as their expensive new strike-force started to gel.
One-time Liverpool target Teixeira ran at a backpedalling defence and fired in at the near post to open the scoring on 16 minutes, only for Lee Dong-Gook to equalise just after the hour-mark.
But Jo buried a leaping header on 66 minutes to restore Jiangsu’s lead, before Ramires cued up Wu Xi for a shot on the turn to put the hosts 3-1 ahead.
However, there were some nervy moments for Jiangsu when towering striker Kim Shin-Wook nodded Jeonbuk’s second to cut the deficit to 3-2.
Ramires got his marching orders after a shoving match in stoppage time but Jiangsu held on – much to the relief of their animated coach Dan Petrescu – to top Group E.
Earlier Brazilian goal-machine Adriano made it seven goals in just two AFC Champions League games as FC Seoul destroyed Sanfrecce Hiroshima 4-1 to stay top of Group F.
Adriano, who smashed four in last week’s 6-0 demolition of Buriram United, plundered another hat-trick as the Korean FA Cup-holders roared back from a goal down.
After Kazuhiko Chiba’s opener for Hiroshima, Kim Won-Sik equalised just after the half-hour mark, but Adriano stole the show with his treble in 20 second-half minutes.
The Brazilian put Seoul ahead in the 49th minute when he let a free-kick drop over his shoulder and steered home a delicate volley.
He showed his predatory instincts with a determined run and near-post finish on 55 minutes, and completed his hat-trick after another flowing team move in the 69th.
After two games, FC Seoul lead Group F on goal difference ahead of China’s Shandong Luneng, who beat Thai outfit Buriram 3-0.
In Group B, Saudi side Al Nassr edged Uzbekistan’s Bunyodkor 1-0 thanks to a 35th minute strike by Malian Modibo Maiga.
Former West Ham forward Maiga, playing his first ACL match, surged in from the right and evaded two defenders to score past goalkeeper Murotjon Zukhorov at Bunyodkor Stadium.
Maiga could have scored his second goal of the day late in the second half but his header was tipped over the post by a leaping Zukhorov.
Zukhorov almost made up for his lapse in the goal in dramatic fashion when he came up for a corner during stoppage time, but his powerful header hit the crossbar.
Also in Group B, Qatar’s Lekhwiya picked up their first point of the tournament when they held Iran’s Zobahan to a goalless draw in Isfahan.
The Iranian side had won their first leg clash in Doha 1-0 but failed to break down the Lekhwiya defence on Tuesday at the Foolad Shahr Stadium to waste their home advantage.
Al Nasr avenged their defeat to Sepahan last week with a 2-0 second leg win in Dubai.
Brazilian Nilmar’s brilliant overhead flick in the 57th minute put Al Nasr ahead in their Group A match at the Al Maktoum Stadium before a stoppage-time penalty by Jonathan Pitroipa sealed three points for the Dubai-based side.
In another late Group A match in Jeddah, Uzbekistan’s Lokomotiv clinched a 1-1 draw thanks to an 80th minute penalty by Temurkhuja Abdukholikov after Sulley Munatri had put the Saudi side ahead in the 14th minute.