4-goal Goulart gives Cannavaro first win in ACL

AFP
Guangzhou Evergrande roared back from 0-2 down yesterday with four second-half goals from Ricardo Goulart completing a sensational 5-3 AFC Champions League victory over Jeju United
AFP

FABIO Cannavaro’s Guangzhou Evergrande roared back from 0-2 down yesterday with four second-half goals from Ricardo Goulart completing a sensational 5-3 AFC Champions League victory over Jeju United.

On a night when it rained goals, Cannavaro’s former club Tianjin Quanjian was thumped 3-6 at 2016 winner Jeonbuk Motors, whose giant striker Kim Shin-wook bagged his first ACL hat-trick.

Evergrande, the club which has declared it wants to field an all-Chinese side by 2020, had to thank its two prolific Brazilian forwards for the victory over the Korean visitors.

The Chinese champion found itself 0-2 down after 29 minutes at the Tianhe Stadium to goals from Jin Seong-uk and Magno Cruz.

But Goulart’s goal spree thrilled the raucous home crowd after fellow Brazilian Alan’s opener deep into first-half stoppage time had given Guangzhou a lifeline.

The 2006 World Cup-winning captain Cannavaro had endured a stuttering start at the southern Chinese city club since taking over from Luiz Felipe Scolari, who led Evergrande to a seventh successive Chinese Super League title last year.

Evergrande drew both its previous Group G matches and lost its CSL opener 4-5 to derby rival Guangzhou R&F on Friday.

But it now leads Group G by a point from Thailand’s Buriram United, which enjoyed a 2-0 home win over Japan’s Cerezo Osaka courtesy of goals from Andres Tunez and Edgar Silva.

Last season Italian Cannavaro led Tianjin to ACL qualification and his former charges took a shock lead in the 10th minute in Jeonju when a partially cleared corner was volleyed home sweetly by rightback Zhang Cheng.

The towering Kim saw one header disallowed before the 1.98-meter target man rose in 24th to head the equalizer. Three minutes before half-time Jeonbuk was ahead courtesy of Han Kyo-won.

Brazilian Ricardo Lopes swept home before Kim bagged two more to complete his hat-trick in the 64th and captain Choi Bo-kyung then found the net to make it 6-1.

A late Zhao Xuri header and an Alexandre Pato penalty were only consolations for the visitors as Jeonbuk made it three wins from three matches to go five points clear at the top of Group E.

Kashiwa Reysol registered a first win in this year’s competition and joins Tianjin on four points after laboring past Hong Kong, China’s Kitchee 1-0 in Japan thanks to Junya Ito’s 66th-minute winner.

Kitchee remains rock bottom of Group E without a goal or a point so far in its debut ACL campaign but will have another chance when it hosts Kashiwa at Hong Kong Stadium next week.

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