March 13, 2019 / 4:55 PM / 12 days ago

Soccer: Urawa hold on to draw with dominant Beijing

HONG KONG (Reuters) - Japan’s Urawa Red Diamonds escaped with a point from their Asian Champions League meeting with Beijing Guoan on Wednesday, as the 2017 winners clung on for a 0-0 draw in the Chinese capital.

Jonathan Viera hit the post in stoppage time and Cedric Bakambu had a goal ruled out for offside seconds later as Roger Schmidt’s Beijing side dominated without finding the back of the net at the Workers Stadium.

The draw gave the Chinese FA Cup holders their first point of this year’s competition while Urawa are a point clear of Buriram United at top of Group G after the Thai champions defeated former winners Jeonbuk Motors.

Supachok Sarachat scored the only goal of the game five minutes into the second half. The home side were able to spring a rapid counter attack that ended with Supachok smashing the ball past the outstretched hand of Shin Hyung-min.

Meanwhile, J-League champions Kawasaki Frontale bounced back from their opening round loss against Shanghai SIPG to record a 1-0 win over Sydney FC in Group H thanks to a late Manabu Saito goal.

“We nearly got there, we nearly got a good point away from home but it was a sloppy goal to concede, especially so late,” said Sydney midfielder Brandon O’Neill.

“But there are a lot of positives to take from it. We’re still in a fighting position. They’re a very good side and it’s a very good learning experience for us.”

Ulsan Hyundai top the group on four points from their first two games after handing SIPG a 1-0 loss in South Korea.

Junior Negrao came off the bench to glance home a 66th-minute header for the K-League side.

In the west, Al Hilal defeated big spending Qatari side Al Duhail 3-1 in Riyadh in Group C with Ali Al Buhaili and Bafetimbi Gomis giving the Saudi Arabian side the win after Shoya Nakajima had cancelled out Carlos Eduardo’s opener.

Al Hilal move to the top of the standings with a perfect record after the first two rounds, with Al Duhail in second ahead of Esteghlal of Iran and Al Ain of the United Arab Emirates, who are both on one point each after drawing 1-1.

Qatar’s other representatives Al Sadd beat Persepolis of Iran 1-0 to avenge their loss in the semi-finals of last year’s competition with Uzbekistan’s Pakhtakor moving to the top of Group D thanks to a 1-0 win over Saudi side Al Ahli.

Reporting by Michael Church, Editing by Christian Radnedge

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