Guo'an searching for first win in ACL, SIPG falls

AFP
Cedric Bakambu missed a catalogue of chances as Beijing Guoan's AFC Champions League hopes took another hit with a frustrating 0-0 home draw against Japan's Urawa Red Diamonds.
AFP

Striker Cedric Bakambu missed a catalogue of chances as Beijing Guo'an's AFC Champions League hopes took another hit with a frustrating 0-0 home draw against Japan's Urawa Red Diamonds on Wednesday.

It capped a miserable couple of days for the four Chinese Super League teams in the competition with domestic champion Shanghai SIPG and Guangzhou Evergrande both losing and Shandong Luneng drawing.

Bakambu, who scored 47 goals in 105 matches for Spain's Villarreal before moving to the Chinese capital 13 months ago, squandered three good chances in just four first-half minutes.

The worst miss came when he rounded Urawa goalkeeper Shusaku Nishikawa, but the French-born Congolese international rolled the ball wide after his heavy touch made the angle too tight.

With Chinese FA Cup winner Beijing firmly in control throughout in front of its vocal home crowd, the 27-year-old was guilty of more profligacy four minutes before the break, failing to connect as he bore down on Nishikawa and then wasting the follow-up.

Beijing's German coach Roger Schmidt, who was celebrating his 52nd birthday, looked on increasingly aghast.

A dominant Beijing then rattled a post and moments later Bakambu thought he had finally scored in stoppage time, but his goal was ruled out for offside.

The CSL side racked up 20 shots — four of them on target — to Urawa's none.

Also in a tight Group G, Supachok Sarachart's goal five minutes into the second half proved the difference as Thailand's Buriram United upset 2016 champion Jeonbuk Motors of South Korea 1-0.

Two-time ACL winner Urawa tops the group with four points after two matches, with Beijing bottom on one point and still looking for a first victory following defeat last week at Jeonbuk.

Xinhua

Shanghai SIPG’s Zhang Yi (left) in action with Ulsan Hyundai’s Kim Bo-kyung during their AFC Champions League Group H match in Ulsan, South Korea, on Wednesday. The hosts won 1-0.

SIPG suffered a setback in its quest for a first continental crown when it lost 0-1 to South Korea's Ulsan Hyundai.

Brazil stars Oscar and Hulk, whose late penalty secured last week's 1-0 win over Kawasaki Frontale, failed to inspire a second victory as SIPG dropped off the top of Group H.

Oscar, Asia's record signing, had the best chances for SIPG but the visitors were undone by slack defending from a corner when Ulsan's Junior Negrao headed the game's only goal on 66 minutes.

Ex-Chelsea man Oscar's shot from distance, after snapping up a loose ball in midfield, was the best chance of a tepid first half at Ulsan Munsu Stadium.

But Ulsan was the more threatening side after the break and the unmarked Negrao put the hosts ahead with a routine header from a corner midway through the second half.

Oscar had another long-range effort palmed away, and Elkeson was denied by defender Dave Bulthuis's superb point-blank block as SIPG pressed for the equalizer.

In the same group, Manabu Saito's 83rd-minute winner grabbed all three points for Kawasaki Frontale as it beat Sydney FC 1-0.

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