A late goal from Leandro gave FC Tokyo a 1-0 win Tuesday over Australian side Perth Glory in the Asian Champions League.
Following a 1-1 draw away to Ulsan Hyundai in their opening Group F clash, Kenta Hasegawa’s men looked set for another stalemate until Leandro made the breakthrough in the 82nd minute at Ajinomoto Stadium.
Playing a one-two pass with midfielder Shuto Abe, the Brazilian winger received the ball at the top left of the box before curling a right-footed shot into the top right corner.
Glory, coached by former Sanfrecce Hiroshima defender Tony Popovic, frustrated the hosts but created few opportunities of their own.
Their best chance came in the 60th minute when Uruguayan forward Bruno Fornaroli hit the side netting after his team retook possession off an attempted clearance.
FC Tokyo had looked the more dangerous side in a first half that produced only one shot on target — a late volley from Ryoya Ogawa straight to the gloves of Perth ‘keeper Liam Reddy.
Having been among FC Tokyo’s best last week in Ulsan, Leandro was once again in the thick of the action. The loan signing from the Kashima Antlers found fellow Brazilian Adailton in the box off a set play in the 15th minute, but the attacking midfielder sent his header over the bar.
Following a run through the Perth defense midway through the half, Leandro threaded a pass into the area for Diego Oliveira, whose attempt was deflected out for a corner.
With the victory, last year’s J. League runners-up move to the top of the group, which also contains Chinese side Shanghai Shenhua.
Vissel Kobe will continue their Group G campaign away to Suwon Bluewings of South Korea on Wednesday, while Yokohama F. Marinos will host Group H opponent Sydney FC in a clash of domestic league champions.