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(LEAD) FC Seoul cruise past Japanese champion at AFC Champions League

All News 23:07 March 01, 2016

(ATTN: CHANGES slug, lead; UPDATES with later result)

SEOUL, March 1 (Yonhap) -- Brazilian forward Adriano's hat trick lifted FC Seoul to a 4-1 victory over Sanfrecce Hiroshima at the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Champions League in Seoul Tuesday.

But Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors, another South Korean club, weren't as successful later in the day, suffering a 3-2 loss to Jiangsu Suning FC of China on the road.

FC Seoul enjoyed their second straight Group F victory at the AFC Champions League (ACL) at Seoul World Cup Stadium, as Adriano delivered three goals in just 20 minutes in the second half after midfielder Kim Won-sik scored first for the host. Midfielder Sin Jin-ho, who joined FC Seoul from the Pohang Steelers this offseason, set up three goals in Seoul's victory.

Adriano now has seven goals in his first two AFC Champions League (ACL) group matches, having scored four times in the team's 6-0 victory over Buriram United of Thailand last week.

The Seoul-Hiroshima match was held on the South Korean national holiday commemorating the March 1 Independence Movement, which paved the way for Korea's independence from Japanese colonial rule that lasted from 1910-45.

Politics aside, FC Seoul had their own reason to beat the three-time J1 League champion Hiroshima, as they were seeking revenge for the 2014 ACL group stage where Hiroshima edged out Seoul with a 2-1 win and 2-2 draw in their two encounters.

Seoul, the runner-up in the 2002 and the 2013 ACL, didn't have the start they had envisioned at home, as Hiroshima scored the opening goal. In the 25th minute, Kazuhiko Chiba headed down Kohei Shimizu's free kick and found the net behind Seoul goalkeeper Yoo Hyun.

But Seoul leveled the score just seven minutes later when Sin Jin-ho's corner kick ended up at Kim Won-sik, whose left-foot shot went between the legs of Hiroshima goalkeeper Takuto Hayashi.

In the second half, Adriano started to show his goal-scoring instincts.

In the 49th, the 28-year-old Brazilian tapped Sin's free kick inside the box to put Seoul in the lead, and seven minutes later he added another by redirecting Ko Kwang-min's cross into the net. The former Daejeon Citizen player then completed his hat trick in the 69th after receiving Sin's backheel pass in the box.

Seoul, five-time K League Classic champion, will next face Shandong Luneng at the Jinan Olympic Sports Centre in Jinan, China, on March 16.

But Jeonbuk, coming off a 2-1 win over FC Tokyo in Group E last week, couldn't make it two in a row at Nanjing Olympic Sports Center in Nanjing. Alex Teixeria, a prized offseason acquisition by Jiangsu, opened the scoring for the Chinese club in the 16th, scoring from the top of the arc on a low shot past defender Lim Jong-eun and out of reach of the diving goalkeeper Kwoun Sun-tae.

Jeonbuk nearly tied the score three minutes later as Go Moo-yul, taking control of a loose ball following a free kick attempt, shot just wide of the left post.

Jeonbuk, which signed a slew of big names in winter with designs on the AFC crown, drew even on Lee Dong-gook's goal in the 61st.

Jiangsu, on the heels of a disappointing 1-1 draw against Becamex Binh Duong last week, meant business on this night. Former Manchester City forward Jo headed in the go-ahead goal in the 66th, and midfielder Wu Xi extended the lead to 3-1 three minutes later.

Jonbuk managed to cut the deficit to one in the 86th when Australian defender Trent Sainsbury headed a corner kick into his own net, but couldn't get any closer.

Jeonbuk's next group match will be against Becamex Binh Duong of Vietnam at home on March 15.

Two other South Korean clubs, the Suwon Samsung Bluewings and Pohang Steelers, will play their second group matches Wednesday.

There are 32 clubs in the ACL. The Western Asian teams are in Groups A to D, while the teams from East Asia are in Groups E to H. The top two clubs from each group advance to the knockout stage that starts in May. The two-leg final is scheduled in November.


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