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Mday 3 – ACL Group H

8 April 2009 No Comment

Kawasaki Frontale cemented their place at the top of Group H of the Asian Champions League with a 5-0 mauling of the Central Coast Mariners in Gosford, as the Pohang Steelers moved into outright second with a narrow win over Tianjin Teda at home.

The J-League and K-League sides are now undoubtedly the favourites to progress from the group, the Steelers having grabbed their win courtesy of 68th minute strike by Hwang Jin-Sung.

It was in Australia where the headlines were written, as Kawasaki confirmed their status as the group’s heavyweight with a thrashing of the Central Coast.

The Japanese side outclassed and outran their opponents, opening the scoring through in-form North Korea international Jong Tae-Se.

His headed opener inside ten minutes was followed by Taniguchi’s from a Vitor Junior corner, before a deflected effort from irrepressible Brazilian striker Juninho made the score 3-0 just before the break.

With fatigue taking its toll, the Mariners were overrun in the second half, Japan international Kengo Nakamura scoring a superb volley after combining with his aforementioned South American teammate.

Juninho was appropriately at the heart of his side’s last goal, collecting the ball after a defensive error from the Central Coast before slipping it into the path of fellow countryman Renatinho, who applied the finish.

Qualification from the group seems a near-impossible task for the Mariners and Tianjin now, with the former still having to travel
to Japan and Korea before the group’s end.

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