March 14, 2018 / 5:12 PM / 3 months ago

Soccer: Evergrande win again to move closer to last 16

HONG KONG (Reuters) - Guangzhou Evergrande continued their resurgence in the Asian Champions League on Wednesday with a 2-0 win in South Korea over Jeju United that moved the two-time champions to within touching distance of the knockout phase.

Goals from Nemanja Gudelj and Alan Carvalho gave Fabio Cannavaro’s side their second win in a row against the K-League club and moved them on to eight points from four games at the top of Group G.

“We have focused a lot on improving our concentration in away games,” said the Italian.

“In the last game we conceded too soon due to a loss of focus but this time you could see all of the players have shown their desire to win.

“We can’t sit back and relax just because we have won so many titles. We need more championships and in this match we were all determined and confident.”

The Chinese Super League side lead the group by three points from Thailand’s Buriram United and Cerezo Osaka, who played out a 2-2 draw in Japan with Kenyu Sugimoto scoring two minutes from time to salvage a point for the J-League club.

Jeju United are bottom of Group G with three points, with two matches remaining.

Tianjin Quanjian made it a positive night for Chinese teams as they defeated 2016 champions Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors 4-2. Anthony Modeste and Alexandre Pato scored the crucial goals in the final six minutes.

The defeat was Jeonbuk’s first of the campaign but Choi Kang-hee’s side remain top of Group E. However, their advantage has been whittled down to just two points with Tianjin now in second.

Kitchee sprung the surprise of the round with a last-gasp 1-0 win over Japan’s Kashiwa Reysol, with Cheng Chin-lung scoring two minutes into stoppage time to earn the Hong Kong side their first-ever victory in the Asian Champions League.

Spanish World Cup winner Xavi Hernandez, meanwhile, was on target for Al Sadd as the Qatari side secured a 4-0 win over Uzbekistan’s Nasaf Qarshi that keeps them top of Group C.

Al Sadd lead on goal-difference from Iran’s Persepolis after last year’s semi-finalists moved on to nine points with a narrow win over Al Wasl that ensured the club from the United Arab Emirates could not finish in the top two positions.

Moamen Zakaria earned Al Ahli a point as their meeting with Al Gharafa from Qatar ended in a 1-1 draw while the other Group A game between Tractorsazi of Iran and Al Jazira of the UAE finished with the same scoreline.

Al Ahli lead the group by three points from Al Jazira, who are level on five points with Al Gharafa as Tractorsazi occupy last place with just two points from four games.

Reporting by Michael Church, Editing by Christian Radnedge

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