AFC Champions League

Jeonbuk Motors sink Kitchee in final group game at AFC Champions League

South Koreans top group with their fifth win in six games while eliminated Melbourne earn victory against Shanghai SIPG

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 18 April, 2018, 9:49pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 18 April, 2018, 11:15pm

Kitchee ended their AFC Champions League campaign the same way they started after losing to South Korea’s Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors 3-0 on Wednesday night.

Playing in their final group E match, the Hong Kong club conceded all three of their goals inside the final 20 minutes as they finished bottom of the group on three points.

Kitchee began their campaign in February against the same South Korean side, losing 6-0 at Hong Kong Stadium and there was no respite in Jeonju from the home side, who finished top of group E, with their fifth win in six games.

The two-time AFC Champions League winners (2006 and 2016) had to wait until the second half to break the deadlock with Lee Seung-gi getting the first and Kim Shin-wook heading home the second. Lim Seon-yong scored the third.

Lee scored from a suspiciously offside position after Ricardo Lopes’ left-wing cross found Kim Shin-wook who headed it down for Lee to crash home from close range.

The second goal was a classic though. Kitchee goalkeeper Wang Zhenpeng kept out Lee’s point-blank range at the far post before the ball was pulled back for Kim to crash home from 18 metres. Substitute Lim then put the icing on the cake with a fierce left-footed drive three minutes from the final whistle.

Meanwhile, Australian interest in the 2018 AFC Champions League ended on Wednesday despite Melbourne Victory’s 2-1 win over Shanghai SIPG of China.

Heading into the final round of the group games, Melbourne had already been eliminated.

But the A-League team inflicted a first defeat in the tournament on the big-spending Chinese Super League team that finished on top of group G.

Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors in pole position after cruising past Kitchee in AFC Champions League drubbing

Pierce Waring put Melbourne ahead after 40 minutes with Lin Chuangyi making it 1-1 just before the break for a Shanghai team that started without star Brazilians Hulk and Oscar.

Jai Wingham hit the winning goal midway through the second half.

Ulsan Horangi, of South Korea took the second spot, joining Shanghai in the round of 16, and drew 2-2 with bottom team Kawasaki Frontale of Japan.

Melbourne ended the tournament in third as did fellow Australia team Sydney FC the previous evening.

Tianjin break Kitchee hearts with last-minute winner in AFC Champions League

Tianjin Quanjian of China, making a debut appearance in the tournament, finished in second after a 3-2 win over Kashiwa Reysol of Japan.

Two first-half goals from Zhao Xuri put Tianjin ahead with Yang Xu finding the net on the second half.

Kashiwa finish third in the group with Kitchee in fourth.

Both legs of the second round will be played in May.

Additional reporting by Agence France-Presse