Stalemate for Gamba and Suwon
Experienced Asian Champions League campaigners Suwon Bluewings and Gamba Osaka played out a goalless draw in their opening game of Group G.
Both sides had chances to come away with all three points at Suwon World Cup Stadium with Reinaldo firing wide for the hosts and Hideo Hashimoto hitting the crossbar for Gamba in the second half. However, neither side could find a breakthrough, although both coaches came away happy with a point.
"The players who have been away with the national team recently have had little chance to play with the players who didn't," said Suwon coach Cha Bum-Keun. "When you think about our preparations then you can be satisfied with the result."
Gamba perhaps shaded the game overall but coach Akira Nishino, who led the J.League side to the continental title in 2008, acknowledged the importance of a point on the road. "It was a tough game," he said. "It was our first game of the season and it was harder than we expected but the players fought well. Suwon are a good team. They moved well and didn't give up."
The points were shared in the other game in the group as Henan Jianye drew 0-0 with Singapore Armed Forces at Zhangzhou Hanghai Stadium. The hosts dominated the encounter but did not have the rub of the green with Amado Diallo, Zhang Lu and Xiao Zhi all hitting the woodwork.
"It was a pity that we failed to secure a victory," said coach Tang Yaodong. "The result really couldn't make us happy. We created a bunch of good chances but we fell victim to bad luck."
In contrast, Warriors coach Richard Bok was delighted with the result. "I am happy with one point," he said. "Henan proved they are a strong side but really suffered from bad luck."