Jeonbuk battered in AFC league opener

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Jeonbuk battered in AFC league opener

The four K-League representatives at this year’s Asian Football Confederation Champions League had mixed results in their title pursuits this week, perhaps none as shocking as the reigning K-League champion’s loss Wednesday.

Pohang and Ulsan had satisfactory results on Tuesday. Pohang, the 2009 Champions League winner, blanked Gamba Osaka of the J-League 3-0 on the road to start their Group E campaign, as three different players got on the score sheet. Ulsan beat Beijing Guoan of the Chinese Super League 2-1 at home in Group F.

In Nagoya, Seongnam Ilhwa pulled out a 2-2 draw against the home side Grampus in spectacular fashion, as Brazilian striker Hevertinho scored on a bicycle kick with the clock running down in their Group G match.

But their feats were overshadowed by Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors’ 5-1 home defeat at the hands of Guangzhou Evergrande FC, managed by Korean coach Lee Jang-soo, in Group H on Wednesday.

Jeonbuk, the K-League champion and the AFC runner-up last year, was helpless against Guangzhou, which won the 2011 Chinese Super League and was making its Champions League debut. Brazilian striker Cleo and Argentinean midfielder Conca scored two goals apiece, while Brazilian Muriqui added another in the onslaught. Only a second-half score by substitute Jeong Shung-hoon prevented a shutout.

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