• Kyodo


Yokohama F. Marinos stayed in contention for a place in the quarterfinals of the Asian Champions League with a 2-0 home win over Thailand’s BEC Tero Sasana on Wednesday but Jubilo Iwata’s slim hopes of reaching the last eight ended after a 2-1 loss to South Korea’s Suwon Bluewings.

Daisuke Sakata opened the scoring late in the first half and South Korea striker Ahn Jung Hwan grabbed his sixth goal in five games to wrap up the Group F win in the 57th minute and lift the J. League champions on to nine points from four matches.

BEC, the 2003 ACL runners-up, were left rooted to the foot of the table without a point. China’s Shandong Luneng Taishan were in action against Indonesia’s PSM Makassar later in the day.

At a rain-lashed Mitsuzawa Stadium, both sides struggled to grips with the slick surface and the first clear-cut chance fell to Hayuma Tanaka, who fired straight at BEC custodian Mana Nopnad from a promising position in the 34th minute.

But Yokohama finally made the breakthrough in first-half stoppage time after a neat flick-on from in-form Ahn fell perfectly for Sakata, who had time and space to drill the ball past Mana.

Yokohama started to take control after the interval and Masahiro Ohashi brought a fine save out of Mana before Ahn rose to head home and give Takeshi Okada’s side a comfortable win.

“The first goal came at an important time for us and I would have had to change things otherwise,” said Yokohama manager Okada.

“We have achieved our objective and am very satisfied but would have liked to see more goals,” added the former Japan coach.

Yokohama faces Shandong in a crunch game in China on May 11 with BEC traveling to Makassar.

At Suwon World Cup Stadium, a sublime strike from second-half substitute Sandro sealed Suwon’s 2-1 victory over Group E rivals Iwata.

The result left Iwata on three points, seven behind Suwon and Shenzhen Jianlibao, who won 2-0 at bottom-placed Hoang Anh Gia Lai.

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