ACL results are of vital importance

Kashiwa Reysol have wiped the floor with Vietnamese opponents Binh Duong in the second group match of the 2015 Asian Champions League. National team hopeful Masato Kudo contributed for the home team with a brace, while Aussie import Vrankovic provided an own goal to add to the embarrassment for Binh Duong.

In the first half, Reysol barely saw a clear cut chance until they struck the go ahead goal in the 43rd minute. Kudo found himself with time and space in the box as Christiano beat a couple of defenders before crossing a low ball in from the right.

After a strong showing until that point, Kudo’s goal triggered an avalanche. In first half injury time Aussie expat David Vrankovic headed the ball into the wrong net. The defender had previously fallen foul to two high boots from the Kashiwa strike force. Tracking back into his own box while being shadowed, Vrankovic’s miscued header will feature in his next pre match nightmare no doubt.

South Korean Kim, Chang Soo got scoring underway in the second half with the aid of a sublime through ball from midfielder Akimi Barada. The Bing Duong goalkeeper had no chance, as Kim’s first touch – under pressure – opened up the goal and the former Busan defender finished with aplomb.

Kudo popped up for his second in the 67th minute when a corner was allowed to cross the face of goal. The forward was alone again, and he made the visitors hurt. At 4-nil the Binh Duong manager decided to hook Nigerian goalkeeper Esele. But things didn’t get any better.

After some stock standard J-League lead up play, the ball was turned back to Otani from the left. The midfielder struck with a half volley from beyond the box to make it 5-0.

The visitors picked up a consolation goal to make it 5-1 at full time, but their chances of ACL knockout stage qualification have taken a massive blow. Meanwhile, Reysol the best performing of the Japanese sides will host Shandong Luneng in two weeks time.

Kashiwa currently lead Group E on for and against, as first round opponents Jeonbuk also posted a victory on Matchday 2. With J-League credibility continuing to be questioned, ACL results are of vital importance to provide tangible evidence for the competition’s exalted status. After 2014 treble winners Gamba Osaka were downed 2-0 by Seongnam it’s now up to Urawa (v Brisbane Roar) and Kashima (v FC Seoul) to restore some pride for the J-League on Wednesday night.

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  1. Hi there, Lew.

    Which teams in the Asian Champions League this year do you think would go far in the competition? Any favourites?

    • Good things happening at Jeonbuk and their next match is a gift against the Vietnamese club Binh Duong. Apart from them, I’m keen on both Beijing and Guangzhou Evergrande. The team from the forbidden city are chasing G. Evergrande, and success in the Champions League is something they need if they’re to prove themselves the equals of Guangzhou Evergrande.

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