Osaka (Japan) (AFP) – Former Chelsea midfielder Ramires scored the goal that kept China’s big-spending Jiangsu Suning on top of their AFC Champions League group with a 1-0 win at Japan’s Gamba Osaka on Wednesday.
The Brazilian midfielder, who cost Jiangsu 28 million euros from the London club in January 2016, struck a gorgeous finish with his left foot from 20 yards six minutes before half-time.
Gamba threw everything forward in the second half as they went in search of an equaliser, but it was Jiangsu who went closest to another goal with some lightning counter-attacking led by man-of-the-match Ramires, and countryman Alex Teixeira, who cost 50 million euros from Shakhtar Donetsk just over a year ago.
The result leaves Jiangsu sitting pretty five points clear at the top of Group H with a perfect three wins from three outings.
Adelaide United got their first point of the campaign after coming from behind twice in a pulsating 3-3 draw at home to Korea’s Jeju United in the other Group H match.
A goalless first half gave no clue to the fireworks that were to unfold after half-time as the match transformed from bore draw into a six-goal thriller.
The South Australian side took the lead when Papa Diawara stroked home a 51st minute penalty.
Jeju hit back 10 minutes later through their giant striker Frederic Mendy and led when Brazilian Marcelo Toscano thumped home an unstoppable right-foot piledriver on 71 minutes.
Adelaide pulled it back to 2-2 less than two minutes later through Sergio Cirio’s header to set up a frantic finale.
Kwon Soon-Hyung fired Jeju 3-2 ahead with six minutes remaining only for never-say-die Adelaide to equalise within 60 seconds of the restart.
Jordan O’Doherty saw a terrific curling effort strike the post but the home side’s Korean import, Kim Jae-Sung, kept his cool to collect the rebound and deliver a delightful back-heeled pass for Mark Ochieng to bury.
Former Asian champions Western Sydney Wanderers had lost both of their opening Group F games but they stunned FC Seoul 3-2 in the Korean capital.
Goals from inside the box by Lachlan Scott, Terry Antonis from the penalty spot and a long-range Jaushua Sotirio effort put the 2014 AFC Champions into a shock 3-0 lead with just over an hour played.
Yun Il-Lok gave the fans at the World Cup Stadium hope with a tight-angled finish on 66 minutes and when he got his second six minutes later an unlikely comeback was on. But Wanderers managed to hold firm to take the three points.
25+ Channels With Sports & News
- Starting price: $33/mo. for fubo Latino Package
- Watch Premier League, Liga MX, MLS & World Cup
- Includes ESPN, FOX, Univision, TUDN and more
Favorite Leagues At The Best Price
- Starting price: $7.99/mo. for Live TV Package
- Watch Argentine league, Brasileirāo and Copa Libertadores
- Includes beIN SPORTS, GolTV, TyC Sports and more
Many Sports & ESPN Originals
- Price: $6.99/mo. (or get ESPN+, Hulu & Disney+ for $13.99/mo.)
- Features LaLiga, Bundesliga, MLS, Copa del Rey & more
- Also includes daily ESPN FC news & highlights show
Live TV, Soccer & Originals
- Starting price: $4.99/mo.
- Features Champions League, Serie A, Europa League & more
- Includes CBS, Star Trek & CBS Sports HQ
175 Premier League Games & PL TV
- Starting price: $4.99/mo. for Peacock Premium
- Watch 175 exclusive EPL games per season
- Includes Premier League TV channel plus movies, TV shows & more
Get All 3 And Save 30%
- $13.99/mo. for ESPN+, Disney+ & Hulu
- Includes Bundesliga, LaLiga, NHL & the home to UFC
- Features Marvel, Star Wars + shows & movies for your entire family