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OSAKA (Kyodo) Rodrigo Pimpao marked his debut with a brace as tournament newcomers Cerezo Osaka registered a hard-fought 2-1 win over Arema Indonesia in their Asian Champions League opener in Group G on Wednesday night.

The Brazilian striker headed Cerezo in front on 14 minutes before striking the decisive second from close range after Arema had fought back through Noh Alam Shah’s penalty early in the second half.

“It is our first appearance at an international tournament so I’m pleased with the result,” said Cerezo boss Levir Culpi. “But it was very tough in the first half and we couldn’t keep hold of the ball. We were only able to show our brand of soccer in the second period.

“Arema had everyone behind the ball and were looking to counter and we couldn’t string passes together. I have to try and work out why we made so many errors,” said the Brazilian.

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