Urawa thrashed in ACL opener


J. League clubs got off to a less than stellar start in the 2013 Asian Champions League on Tuesday as 2007 champions Urawa Reds lost 3-0 away to Guangzhou Evergrande while Vegalta Sendai failed to mark their continental debut with a victory, having to settle for a 1-1 home draw with Thailand’s Buriram United.

Urawa fought an uphill battle for most of the Group F affair at Guangzhou Tianhe Sport Center, where the stands were packed with fans wearing the red of the home team, not of Urawa.

Guangzhou fully deserved the three points, playing more strongly and directly than the visitors whose mistakes led to all three goals for Marcello Lippi’s men.

“It’s tough to bear,” said Reds midfielder Yuki Abe. “We made a few mistakes and they capitalized on them. It’s a waste, the way we conceded.”

“Our next game at home has become all the more important. We have to make sure to win that one,” he said, referring to the March 12 tie against Muangthong United of Thailand.