Modeste, Pato fire Tianjin in ACL
ANTHONY Modeste and Alexandre Pato hit quickfire late goals as big-spending Tianjin Quanjian beat Jeonbuk Motors 4-2 to breathe fresh life into its AFC Champions League campaign last night.
Prolific marksman Modeste, on loan from Cologne in Germany, fired home to give the ambitious Chinese Super League side a priceless lead over the South Koreans and Brazilian forward Pato put gloss on the result deep into injury time.
With two rounds of matches to play in the group stage of Asia’s top club competition, Tianjin is second in Group E, with the top two going into the last-16 knockout phase.
Jeonbuk still heads the group, even with this first defeat in four matches, but sees its lead at the top trimmed to two points.
In the other group match, Cheng Chin Lung scored a late goal to give Hong Kong, China’s Kitchee its first points after 1-0 win over 10-man Kashiwa Reysol of Japan.
Tianjin boasts the likes of former AC Milan starlet Pato, Belgium international midfielder Axel Witsel and Frenchman Modeste, who was a regular scorer in the Bundesliga before moving to China last summer.
Modeste set up Wang Yongpo to give the home side the lead on eight minutes, only for Kim Shin-wook to equalize for the two-time ACL champion.
Zhang Cheng put Tianjin ahead again on 55 minutes, but Adriano pegged the CSL side back once more 12 minutes later.
An entertaining clash looked destined to end in a stalemate before Modeste popped up in the 84th to score, then Pato made it 4-2 when Modeste again turned provider in added-on time.
On a good night for Chinese teams, Fabio Cannavaro’s Guangzhou Evergrande took a large step towards the last 16 with a 2-0 win over Jeju United.
Brazilian Alan scored one goal and made another — a cracker by the Serbian midfielder Nemanja Gudelj — as the CSL champion made light work of its host.
Italian World Cup winner Cannavaro did not enjoy the best start as coach of Evergrande, his side drawing its first two games in Group G.
But it beat Jeju 5-3 at home last week and was never in trouble in the return in South Korea.
Guangzhou, a two-time ACL champion, now has eight points from four games in Group G.
In the other group match, Thai club Buriram drew 2-2 with Japanese team Cerezo Osaka. Both have five points.