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Jeonbuk rallies past Urawa in Asian Champions League

Kyodo

Wasteful Urawa Reds paid the price of inaccuracy as the former champions allowed Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors to come from behind for a 3-1 win at Saitama Stadium in the Asian Champions League on Wednesday.

South Korean international Lee Dong Gook came off the bench to decide the Group F affair midway through the second half, handing Jeonbuk its first victory of the tournament.

Lee Seung Gi and Eninho chipped in with a goal each for the K-League club. Urawa opened the scoring early through Genki Haraguchi, but failed to capitalize on a number of opportunities to add to their tally.

In Group H, Kashiwa Reysol maintained their perfect record through three games with a 6-2 demolition of Suwon Bluewings.

Jeonbuk took the first stab in the fifth minute, when Lee Seung Gi blasted over the bar from point-blank range after creeping through the defense on the counterattack.

But a minute later, Urawa moved in front through Haraguchi’s second goal of the competition.

Tomoaki Makino did most of the work, drawing the defense with a penetration dribble before laying off for Haraguchi, who struck from the heart of the area.

Haraguchi should have had another in the 11th minute, when the winger was in a one-on-one with Kwoun Sun Tae, but did the keeper a favor by firing wide of the left-hand post.

The misses continued to pile up for Reds as Marcio Richardes was off target with a completely free shot from the edge of the box near the quarter-hour, and the Brazilian fired another blank in the 21st minute, slamming the bar with a free kick.

Two minutes to the interval, Haraguchi failed again, this time having a diving header denied by Kwoun.

Urawa’s inaccuracy spilled over into the second half, with Yosuke Kashiwagi volleying over the bar by the left post before Reds were made to pay for all their bungling in the 52nd minute.

Lee Seung Gi equalized with a forceful drive from the left wing, and four minutes past the hour, Lee Dong Gook headed home a cross by Eninho to make it 2-1 for the visitors.

Jeonbuk doubled their lead after 70 minutes as Eninho beat Reds custodian Nobuhiro Kato from 30 meters out to sew up the three points.