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Thursday, April 5, 2012

Kashiwa held to scoreless draw against Guangzhou in ACL


KASHIWA, Chiba Pref. — Kashiwa Reysol failed to break down a well-drilled Guangzhou Evergrande side on Wednesday and had to make do with a 0-0 draw at home to the Chinese champions in the Asian Champions League.

The result leaves both J. League champion Kashiwa and Guangzhou with four points from three games in Group H. Group leader Buriram United of Thailand was at home against South Korea's Jeonbuk Motors in a later match.

With Brazilian duo Jorge Wagner and Leandro Domingues being kept under lock and key, and the attacking threat of Hiroki Sakai being snuffed out after the break by a shrewd Guangzhou tactical switch, Kashiwa was frustrated for long stretches.

Nelsinho replaced the ineffective Masato Kudo with striker Ricardo Lobo with 18 minutes left and the move very nearly paid off when he prodded Wagner's shot just wide in the 80th minute.

FC Tokyo were in action away to Beijing Guoan in Group F later Wednesday.

In Tuesday's games involving Japanese clubs, Gamba Osaka picked up their first competitive win of the season with a comfortable 3-1 win over Bunyodkor in Group E, while Nagoya Grampus blanked Tianjin Teda 3-0 away to stay unbeaten and move two points clear at the top of Group G.

Koroki powers Kashima


Shinzo Koroki struck the winner as holders Kashima Antlers beat Omiya Ardija 1-0 at home in the group stage of the Nabisco Cup on Wednesday.

Koroki pounced on a loose ball in the 31st minute after Omiya goalkeeper Takashi Kitano had saved Yuya Osako's shot, earning Kashima their second win in as many games in Group B.

In other Group B matches, Shimizu S-Pulse edged Albirex Niigata 1-0 thanks to Daigo Kobayashi's 16th-minute strike, while Consadole Sapporo picked up their first win after edging Yokohama F Marinos 2-1 away, Shota Sakaki netting the winner late in the first half.

In Group A, Toshihiro Matsushita and Makoto Kakuda were on target as J. League leaders Vegalta Sendai won 2-0 at home to Sagan Tosu. Ryoichi Maeda put Jubilo Iwata on the way to a 4-3 win over Urawa Reds, while Sanfrecce Hiroshima and Kawasaki Frontale played out a 1-1 draw at Big Arch.

The top two in each seven-team group qualify for the quarterfinals, where they will be joined by Japan's four Asian Champions League representatives — J. League champions Kashiwa Reysol, Emperor's Cup holders FC Tokyo, Nagoya Grampus and Gamba Osaka.

The two-leg quarterfinals will be played on July 25 and Aug. 8, with the semis on Sept. 5 and Oct. 13. The final is scheduled for Nov. 3.

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