AFC Champions League

Eastern hammered by Suwon Bluewings as Guangzhou Evergrande settle for draw in AFC Champions League

Hong Kong side all but eliminated after 5-0 thrashing in South Korea as Chinese Super League champions play out goalless stalemate

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 12 April, 2017, 9:10pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 12 April, 2017, 11:27pm

Hong Kong side Eastern were all but eliminated from the AFC Champions League after a 5-0 home hammering by Suwon Bluewings.

China’s Guangzhou Evergrande, meanwhile, had to settle for a share of the points in a dour 0-0 draw on a wet night in Japan at Kawasaki Frontale.

Yeom Ki-Hun’s close-range header gave South Korean side the Bluewings a slender 1-0 half-time lead against Eastern but they outclassed the Hong Kong debutants in the second half.

Ko Seung-Beom grabbed two more and Brazilian marksman Johnathan came off the bench to score twice in three minutes at Suwon World Cup Stadium.

The Bluewings lead group G on eight points from four matches, two ahead of Guangzhou, and will be guaranteed to progress into the knockout stages if they can avoid defeat at home to Kawasaki in their next match on April 25.

Eastern coach Chan Yuen-ting said she was proud of her side’s first-half defending, but admitted Suwon were too strong.

“You could see all their finishing was high quality. They deserved five goals,” said Chan, who is the only woman to coach a men’s team to a top-flight domestic championship in world football.

Eastern have just one point in their first Champions League campaign and must now win at home to Evergrande on the same night and hope other results go their way to stay alive.

The prospect of victory would seem slim, however, given that the Hong Kong side were embarrassed 7-0 when the teams met in Guangzhou in February.

Meanwhile, Australia’s Brisbane Roar kept their AFC Champions League hopes flickering with a 2-1 home win over Japanese champions Kashima Antlers.

Goals from striker Jamie Maclaren and midfielder Brett Holman gave Brisbane a 2-0 lead before Kashima pulled a goal back near the end.

It was Brisbane’s first win of the campaign and took their points tally to four, just two behind group E leaders Kashima.

“That’s a huge win for us,” Roar’s Danish midfielder Thomas Kristensen said.

“I saw them on television not long ago playing against Real Madrid and they probably should have won that game, so we know it was a quality squad.

“But we also believe in our team and we have some good players, so we deserved to win.”

It was only Brisbane’s third win in 16 games in the AFC Champions League and it gave them renewed hope of qualifying for the knockout rounds if they can get a result against Muangthong United in Thailand in two weeks’ time.

Kashima face Ulsan Hyundai Motors in South Korea in their next match.