Kashima draw in emotional return

Japan's Kashima Antlers have been held 1-1 by Suwon Bluewings in the AFC Champions League in their first appearance on home soil since last month's devastating earthquake.

Kashima were forced to play in Tokyo's National Stadium after their own ground was badly damaged in the 9.0-magnitude earthquake and tsunami which ravaged the country, stalling the domestic J.League season. Tuesday's emotional Group H clash also took place in the early afternoon to avoid having to use floodlights, as part of a nationwide drive to avoid draining power from the crippled electricity grid.

A crowd of just over 4,600 saw Korea Republic's Suwon take the lead three minutes after half-time thanks to midfielder Yeom Ki-Hun's direct free-kick, which flew into the top corner. But Kashima were level six minutes later when Yuzo Tashiro capitalised on a Takuya Nozawa free-kick.

I expected them (Suwon) to play defensively and try to draw. I think they did as they planned.
Kashima Antlers coach Oswaldo Oliveira

Kashima appeared to have made it 2-1, but forward Shinzo Koroki's strike was ruled offside. Koroki also blazed over in the dying seconds. Antlers' Brazilian coach Oswaldo Oliveira said: "I expected them (Suwon) to play defensively and try to draw. I think they did as they planned. We missed two forwards and couldn't play our game. But we didn't give them many chances."

Suwon coach Yoon Sung-Hyo said: "Our team was not 100 per cent because of injuries. I was disappointed that we failed to keep the lead, but I'm glad that we took a point from the draw."

Kashima are expected to play all their home games at the National Stadium until June at the earliest. The earthquake-hit J.League resumes this weekend. Suwon remain top of Group H on goal difference ahead of Kashima, who also have six points from four games.