South Korea K. League champion Seongnam Ilhwa got off to a good start in the inaugural A3 Mazda Champions Cup by defeating J. League champion Jubilo Iwata 2-0 on Sunday at Tokyo’s National Stadium.
Seongnam dominated the game and was the fitter and more organized side. Skillful midfielder Shin Tae Yong curled in a free-kick into the left corner of the net from the edge of the box, putting Seongnam ahead in the 26th minute.
With Iwata trying to rally in the second half, Seongnam continued to trouble Jubilo with speedy counter-attacks. In the 57th minute, former Kashiwa Reysol forward Sasa Drakulic broke through on the right to feed a pass to Kim Dae Eui. The former JEF United forward, left unguarded in the middle, stabbed the ball home.
Jubilo, the three-time J. League champion failed to fill the gap left behind by Japan striker Naohiro Takahara who joined Hamburger SV in the German League. Jubilo manager Masaaki Yanagishita signed Norihiro Nishi in place of Takahara to combine with Masashi Nakayama up front. But neither of them looked threatening.
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