ULSAN, SOUTH KOREA – Kawasaki Frontale lost 2-1 away to Ulsan Hyundai in their Asian Champions League clash Tuesday night, remaining winless in Group F after two matches.
Despite having two-thirds of the possession, the J. League champions were unable to break through Ulsan’s defense until the 85th minute, when substitute Kei Chinen halved the deficit and gave the visitors late hope of taking home a point.
A 71st-minute substitution for veteran striker Yoshito Okubo, the 22-year-old Chinen connected with a Kyohei Noborizato cross in the center of the box and headed home on debut for Frontale.
“Things hadn’t been going well for us, so I was hoping to create something when I came in,” Chinen said. “Even with only a little bit of time left, a goal would open up more chances.”
The South Korean side opened the scoring in the 42nd minute when midfielder Jeong Jae-yong received a pass from Mislav Orsic just outside the box and slotted a right-footed shot past Frontale keeper Jung Sung-ryong.
Orsic racked up his second assist of the night in the 66th minute when he set up Lee Yeoung-jae at the edge of the penalty area after winning possession off an attempted clearance.
In other ACL action, Kashiwa Reysol were denied three points when Alexandre Pato equalized for visiting Chinese side Tianjin Quanjian two minutes from the end of regulation for a 1-1 draw.
The home side created several early attacking opportunities and had the chance to take the lead from the penalty spot in the 30th minute after Quanjian defender Liu Yiming received a yellow card for bringing down forward Ataru Esaka inside the box.
Brazilian striker Cristiano stepped up to take the kick, but Quanjian keeper Zhang Lu correctly anticipated and made the save.
Cristiano finally put Reysol ahead in the 52nd minute when he fired home off a short cross by Ryuta Koike. But his compatriot and former AC Milan forward Pato canceled out the advantage when Reysol keeper Kosuke Nakamura parried a strike by Anthony Modeste into his path directly in front of goal.
Reysol sit third in Group E with one point after the draw, which follows their 3-2 opening loss to Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors last week.
Frontale, who lost their opening match 1-0 to China’s Shanghai SIPG, are at the bottom of Group F without a point.