Beijing, November 07 (QNA) – Shandong Taishan of China moved closer to qualifying for the Round of 16 following a 3-1 win against the Republic of Korea’s Incheon United FC in Group G of the AFC Champions League 2023/24 on Tuesday.

After a goalless first half, Li Yuanyi gave the Chinese side the lead at Jinan Olympic Sports Center before an own goal from Kwon Han-jin and a Cryzan penalty sealed the result, despite a late consolation goal from Kim Do-hyuk, which made it three wins from four matches for Shandong, the AFC website reported.

Shandong, who had won the first meeting between the sides 2-0 at Incheon Football Stadium a fortnight ago, began the match strongly with Li Yuanyi testing Incheon goalkeeper Kim Dong-heon from distance just seconds from kick off.

The two teams were limited to speculative efforts in the first half hour as Incheon winger Kim Bo-sub’s left-footed strike was saved comfortably by Shandong custodian Wang Dalei in the eight minute while Xie Wenneng’s shot sailed wide at the other end in the 27th minute.

Shandong captain Marouane Fellaini was the focal point of the home side’s attacks, but the Incheon defence did well to negate the threat as the two teams went into the break with the match goalless.

Choi Kang-hee made three changes to his Shandong side at half-time including the introduction of Brazilian attacker Cryzan in place of Zheng Zheng while Hernandes Rodrigues replaced Stefan Mugosa for the Koreans.

The first chance of the second half went to the visitors as Min Kyung-hyun’s shot sailed inches wide of the target in the 49th minute but it was Shandong who went ahead five minutes later.

Fellaini released substitute Liu Binbin down the right wing and his cross was not dealt with fully by the Incheon shot-stopper and fell for Li Yuanyi who found the breakthrough with 54 minutes on the clock.

Incheon almost found a swift reply when Hernandes hit the woodwork two minutes later before Jung Dong-yoon’s shot sailed over with the goal at his mercy.

The miss came back to haunt the K League 1 club as they fell further behind in the 65th minute when Kwon Han-jin passed the ball into his own goal with the goalkeeper out of position.

A third came from the penalty spot in the 73rd minute after Hong Si-hoo fouled Li Hailong inside the box and Cryzan sent Incheon custodian Kim Dong-heon the wrong way from 12 yards.

Incheon pulled one back through Kim Do-hyuk in the second half stoppage time, but it was too little, too late for Incheon who fell to their second defeat of the group stage.

The Chinese Super League side will now host Philippines’ Kaya FC-Iloilo in their next AFC Champions League outing on November 28 while Incheon welcome Japan’s Yokohama F. Marinos on the same day. (QNA)


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