Suwon fall 3-2 to Kashima in 1st leg of AFC Champions League semis

October 3, 2018

SEOUL, Oct. 3 (Yonhap) — South Korean football club Suwon Samsung Bluewings lost 3-2 to Japanese outfit Kashima Antlers in the first leg of their Asian Football Confederation Champions League (ACL) semifinal match Wednesday.

Suwon threw away a two-goal lead at Kashima Stadium in Kashima, Japan, and surrendered a winner to Atsuto Uchida in second half stoppage time.

The second leg will be played at Suwon World Cup Stadium in Suwon, south of Seoul, on Oct. 24.

Suwon, playing their first ACL semifinal match since 2011, drew first blood just two minutes after the kickoff, thanks to an own goal by Uchida. Yeom Ki-hun’s corner kick hit Uchida’s left shoulder and crossed the goal line.

The K League 1 club, led by caretaking manager Lee Byung-geun, then doubled their lead four minutes later. Dejan Damjanovic took advantage of a poor clearance from Shuto Yamamoto and drilled home a right-footed shot from a tight angle.

It was Damjanovic’s 35th career goal at the ACL, putting him only one goal shy of Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors striker Lee Dong-gook’s scoring record.

This photo provided by the K League shows Suwon Samsung Bluewings players after conceding a goal to Kashima Antlers in their Asian Football Confederation Champions League (ACL) semifinal match first leg at Kashima Stadium in Kashima, Japan, on Oct. 3, 2018. (Yonhap)

This photo provided by the K League shows Suwon Samsung Bluewings players after conceding a goal to Kashima Antlers in their Asian Football Confederation Champions League (ACL) semifinal match first leg at Kashima Stadium in Kashima, Japan, on Oct. 3, 2018. (Yonhap)

However, Kashima cut the deficit to one in the 21st minute. Suwon midfielder Jang Ho-ik headed a cross from Serginho into his own net while trying to defend Yuma Suzuki in the box.

The match heated up in the 45th when Kashima’s South Korean goalkeeper Kwoun Sun-tae collided with Suwon winger Im Sang-hyeob at the goal line after the former saved Yeom’s right-footed strike. Kwoun was seen headbutting Im later but got away with yellow card.

In the 65th, Suwon produced a promising chance when Im surprised Kwoun with a bicycle kick. Following Yeom’s left-footed strike, Im fired off the overhead effort, but it hit the post.

Suwon made their first substitution in the 71st, replacing Im with Han Eui-gwon. The speedy forward attempted a goal in the 81st with his left foot but missed the target.

Suwon’s defense got weaker as the match neared the end and Kashima didn’t miss their opportunities.

Kashima earned their equalizer in the 84th. Daigo Nishi delivered a fine cross to Serginho just two minutes after he came on, and the Brazilian easily tapped it home to level the score 2-2.

In the 87th, a right-footed strike from Kashima’s Koki Anzai, who had come on in the 56th, rattled the crossbar.

With three minutes of stoppage time added, Uchida put his own goal mistake behind him to become the hero of the night. After Suwon goalkeeper Shin failed to clear Serginho’s free kick, Uchida got the loose ball and poked his shot into an empty net.

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