• Kyodo


Masato Morishige scored his second brace in five days as FC Tokyo climbed to the top of the Group E in the Asian Champions League with a vital 2-1 win away to big-spending Chinese club Jiangsu FC on Wednesday.

Captain and Japan international Morishige opened the scoring with a low drive on the half-hour but the goal was immediately cancelled out through a controversially awarded penalty, converted by Brazilian striker Jo.

But Morishige, who scored a brace before getting sent off with a straight red on the weekend in a 3-2 win over Nagoya Grampus in the J. League, swept home Takuji Yonemoto’s corner on the ground in the 83rd minute to hand the Japanese side the points.

“The most pleasing thing was my team winning,” said Morishige, who scored with his team’s only shots on target. “It’s huge to win away from home.”

Three newly acquired Brazilians led the attack for Jiangsu, but they failed to contribute until the second half, and the frustration was evident when defender Li Ang was shown a straight red for flying in high on Kota Mizunuma with both feet off the ground with three minutes to go.

Morishige, who also got a booking, struck to the bottom-left corner from just inside the box to open the scoring after a ball came off a scramble following a corner.

Referee Ben Williams awarded a penalty to the home side three minutes later, adjudging Kento Hashimoto to have tripped former Chelsea man Ramires when he seemed to have had the ball cleared and was only bumped into.

Tokyo keeper Yota Akimoto made a fine save from another Jiangsu big winter signing, Alex Teixeira, six minutes from the break and the away side held firm during a sustained period of pressure from Jiangsu, restricting them to just two shots on target the whole game.

“That one whistle changed the rhythm of the game a little bit,” Tokyo head coach Hiroshi Jofuku said. “They almost added another, but by finishing the half 1-1, we were able to come out of the break in a positive mindset.”

Subsitute Takuma Abe saw his effort narrowly miss the target with 11 minutes to go before Morishige arrived with the winner.

Meanwhile, Vietnam’s Becamex Binh Duong’s 3-2 home win over Jeonbuk Motors saw it move a point above the South Korean side.

Gamba Osaka suffered their third defeat in the group stage, going down 2-0 at home against another Chinese side Shanghai SIPG in the fourth round of fixtures.

Gamba came into the game with two defeats and a draw and their struggle continued, succumbing to second-half goals from Wu Lei and Lu Wenjun after allowing 22 shots to 10 of their own at Suita Stadium.

The result leaves Gamba at the bottom of Group G with two points. Shanghai is top with nine, Melbourne Victory trails with six and Suwon Bluewings are third with three.

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