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(LEAD) Pohang squeeze past Urawa in AFC Champions League

All Headlines 22:29 March 02, 2016

(ATTN: UPDATES with later result; ADDS photo)

POHANG, South Korea, March 2 (Yonhap) -- Pohang Steelers defeated Urawa Red Diamonds 1-0 at home for their first victory at the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Champions League on Wednesday.

Midfielder Son Jun-ho converted a penalty in the 20th minute before getting sent off in the second half at Pohang Steel Yard in Pohang, North Gyeongsang Province. The K League Classic side moved to the top of Group H with four points after two matches at Asia's top club competition.

Pohang had a scoreless draw against the defending champion Guangzhou Evergrande of China last week. They will host Sydney FC of Australia next Wednesday for their third group match. Sydney beat Guangzhou 2-1 earlier Wednesday.

Suwon Samsung Bluewings, one other South Korean club in action Wednesday, dropped to Shanghai SIPG 2-1 in China in Group G play. Suwon, which had a 0-0 draw against Gamba Osaka in their opener last week, will face Melbourne Victory FC of Australia on the road next Tuesday.

In Pohang, Son had the host's first opportunity in the 16th, just missing his target off his right foot. The midfielder got himself on the score sheet just four minutes later on a penalty, after Urawa defender Tomoaki Makino was called for handling the ball inside the box.

Son tried to double Pohang's lead in the 22nd but shot one over the bar. Daisuke Nasu tried to answer back for the visitors, but Pohang custodian Shin Hwa-yong denied the defender's shot in the 24th. On the other end, Shusaku Nishikawa matched his Pohang counterpart, denying Jung Won-jin's shot in the 32nd.

Near the end of the first half, Urawa forward Zlatan Ljubijankic broke free for a chance, but his shot went over the net.

Under two minutes into the second half, Jung rang one off the bar. For the visitors, Shinzo Koroki and Ljubijankic came up empty-handed in their attempts to level the score around the hour mark.

Son picked up his second yellow of the match in the 70th minute, but the 10-man Pohang fended off the late Urawa charge, led by Nasu and Makino.

At Shanghai Stadium, Kim Gun-hee took the first shot for Suwon in the third minute, and Kwon Chang-hoon saw his header miss the net to the right five minutes later.

Elkeson came back for the host with a header that sailed over the bar in the 16th. The Brazilian forward wouldn't be denied in the 32nd, however, as he put Shanghai on the board with a left-foot strike.

For Suwon, Min Sang-gi and Cho Won-hee each had an attempt that missed high late in the first half.

Yu Hai nearly doubled the lead for Shanghai from the left edge of the box in the 50th. His teammate Wu Lei took care of that end two minutes later, scoring off his right foot from the middle of the box.

After the clubs exchanged shots, Suwon's Jang Hyun-soo cut the deficit in half 20 minutes later. It was as close as Suwon would get on this night, with Santos going over the net with a header in the 82nd.

jeeho@yna.co.kr
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