Changchun cruise, Antlers celebrate
Hat-tricks from Gao Jian and Johnny Lambert saw Chinese Super League runners-up Changchun Yatai demolish Indonesia's Persipura 9-0 in the AFC Champions League today to get their Group F campaign firmly back on track.
Liu Weidong scored twice and fellow substitute Wang Bo also got his name on the scoresheet at Changchun Jingkai Stadium as Shen Xiangfu's side bounced back from their opening-day defeat by Kashima Antlers. Changchun dominated the contest from the first whistle but had to wait until midway through the first half to open the scoring as Gao turned Lambert's cross past goalkeeper Jendry Pitoy.
Lambert again turned provider for Gao just after the half-hour mark before Lambert opened his account two minutes from half-time after being sent clear of the Persipura defence. Changchun kept their foot on the gas after the break and Lambert added his second goal eight minutes into the second half with a close-range finish before Gao completed his hat-trick with a header four minutes later.
Lambert followed suit on the hour mark from Gao's pass before substitute Liu reacted the quickest after Pitoy failed to hold Lambert's long-range effort five minutes later to net the seventh. Liu crossed for Wang to head in with five minutes remaining before Liu scrambled home his second to seal the win in stoppage time.
"The goal frenzy was not that exciting and important," said Changchun coach Shen. "This was just a new beginning for us in the Champions League. It should be a morale-boosting victory that should give us confidence in producing better performances in the remaining group games."
At the Jeonju World Cup Stadium in Jeonbuk, Japanese champions Kashima Antlers fought back to beat South Korean counterparts Jeonbuk Motors 2-1. Substitute Yasushi Endo scored the winner in the last minute as Kashima moved three points clear of Changchun and Jeonbuk at the top of the table.
Brazilian Eninho had handed the home side the lead just before the break but Koji Nakata equalised for Kashima midway through the second half. Kashima coach Oswaldo de Oliveira said: "In the first half we managed to find our rhythm but the end product wasn't there and we just weren't able to score. Jeonbuk had more attackers than us and were able to get the opening goal. The second half went the opposite way. We focused on attacking and by doing so were able to equalise."