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(2nd LD) Nine-man Jeonbuk suffer 3-2 loss at Vietnam in AFC Champions League

All News 22:29 April 06, 2016

(ATTN: ADDS photo, coaches' comments)
By Joo Kyung-don

SEOUL/SUWON, April 6 (Yonhap) -- South Korean club Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors suffered a 3-2 loss to Vietnamese champions Becamex Binh Duong at the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Champions League Wednesday, after playing with nine men in the second half.

At Binh Duong Stadium in Thu Dau Mot, Vietnam, both sides netted two goals each in the first half, but it was the hosts who got the last laugh after Jeonbuk saw two red cards in the second half. Jeonbuk, the 2006 AFC Champions League (ACL) winners, stayed at six points in Group E with two matches remaining. Binh Duong, meanwhile, picked up their first win in the group.

Jeonbuk blanked Binh Duong 2-0 last month at home, but didn't let their guard down because they were held to an unexpected 1-1 draw at Binh Duong last year that eventually cost them first place in their group.

It only took 12 minutes for the two-time defending K League Classic champions to find out they'd be in for a tough match in Vietnam, as they surrendered the opener on a penalty. An opponent's shot apparently hit forward Kim Shin-wook in the arm while he was in the area. Binh Duong captain Nguyen Anh Duc's spot-kick went past Jeonbuk goalkeeper Kwoun Sun-tae's right for the 1-0 lead for the home club.

Jeonbuk's offense, however, started to heat up from that point. Brazilian forward Leonardo hit the goal post with his free kick in the 14th, and, two minutes later, Han Kyo-won's uncontested effort in the box went over the net.

Jeonbuk leveled the score in the 27th, as 196-centimeter striker Kim Shin-wook headed down the cross from the left and set up Lee Jong-ho for a right-foot strike in the box. Two minutes later, the visitors took the 2-1 lead after Han chased down the long ball from midfield with an explosive run, beat goalkeeper Bui Tan Truong and slotted the ball into the empty net.

However, Jeonbuk's excitement lasted only seven minutes as Binh Duong's Christian Amougou evened the match with his left foot after Jeonbuk defenders let the Cameroonian receive Truong's long kick alone.

For the start of the second half, Jeonbuk head coach Choi Kang-hee replaced struggling defensive midfielder Erik Paartalu and put in Luiz Henrique to smooth their offense. In the 63rd, they made their second substitution, sending in forward Ricardo Lopes for tired Lee Jong-ho, also a move aimed at boosting the attack.

While the Vietnamese side kept threatening the opponents with Amougou's power and speed, Jeonbuk saw more trouble when defender Kim Chang-soo received his second yellow card in the 78th. Jeonbuk lost another man eight minutes later after centerback Kim Hyung-il received a red card for bringing down a Binh Duong player just inside the box.

Nguyen Anh Duc again stepped up to take the penalty and beat Kwoun, rounding out the scoring for the team's first victory.

Jeonbuk head coach Choi said that the stunning defeat was his fault.

"Our players played well, and they were cautious about the opponents," he said. "We could have kept a good pace throughout the game, but we were hit too early."

The 56-year-old coach said that it is now "uncertain" if Jeonbuk can get past the group stage, but he will not give up hope.

"If we can recover our form in the next two matches, we can produce good results," he said. "It is a problem to have a result like this, but we must keep working."

Elsewhere, the Suwon Samsung Bluewings were held to a 1-1 draw by Melbourne Victory at home, leaving the two-time ACL champions still winless in Group G.

Suwon, however, moved up to third place in their group with three points after Gamba Osaka fell down to group leaders Shanghai SIPG 2-0 earlier in the day.

At Suwon World Cup Stadium in Suwon, south of Seoul, the hosts went aggressive from the start with midfielder Kwon Chang-hoon leading the way. After a series of shots, the 21-year-old finally scored in the 58th to put Suwon on the board first, but the Australian side made the equalizer just two minutes later, when Kosta Barbarouses converted Matthieu Delpierre's pass.

Suwon head coach Seo Jung-won said it was painful to concede a goal right after his side had an opener.

"After we scored, our attackers seemed to lose their concentration and failed to block the opponents' attack from the front line, which led to a goal," he said.

Seo said that he may not have the luxury of depth but will find a way to pull off the best performances from the players he has. Seo added that although Suwon are winless at the ACL, it's not right to call the situation a crisis.

"We have yet to suffer consecutive losses," he said. "Our players are not shaken up at this moment. We will solve our shortcomings in practices."


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