The 2018 AFC Champions League is well underway now with all the teams completing fixture 1 of the tournament. There were shocks and the standard expected wins as well as the 6 goal thrillers. The first fixtures had everything and we can only hope for more of the same as the tournament progresses further.
Now let’s have a look at how the Chinese clubs fared in case you have forgotten since last week.
Shanghai SIPG FC:
Playing the tough Japanese side Kawasaki Frontale in the first game, Shanghai ground out a gritty 1-0 victory thanks to a goal by Elkeson.
Heavy favourites against minnows and AFC Champions League newcomers Kitchee, Quanjian proved to be just that. Kitchee held out until the half an hour mark but a crazy ten minutes saw them collapse from 0-0 to 3-0 on the 40th minute. The goals came star forward Anthony Modeste and Ke Sun as well as an own goal. They saw the game out comfortable in the second half to win 3-0.
Buriram United were huge underdogs against the reigning Chinese Super League champions. They battled the odds and fought out a 1-1 draw. Ricardo Goulart with the goal for Evergrande in the 17th minute and Edgar Silva scored in the 58th minute for the Thai side.
Japan’s Kashima Antlers gave Shenhua an extremely tough test. With Giovanni Moreno scoring after just 4 minutes for Shenhua, they probably thought they were going to run away with it. But the Antlers came back with a goal just 6 minutes after the second half whistle was blown and held out until the end.
Now let’s have a look at the games the Chinese clubs will face in the second round of fixtures in the group stage of the Champions League.
Shanghai SIPG vs Melbourne Victory
Shanghai SIPG return home to face the Aussies Melbourne Victory. The Victory played a part in one of the best games of the first round of games. They drew 3-3 with Korean side Ulsan Hyundai. I’d expect another fun game in this one.
Kashiwa Reysol vs Tianjin Quanjian
In Quanjian’s second match of the group stage, they’ll face Kashiwa Reysol of Japan. Reysol were involved in another exciting game against one of the favourites Jeonbuk FC. A back and fourth game, Reysol lost 3-2 to the South Korean side.
Cerezo Osaka vs Guangzhou Evergrande
After a disappointing start, Evergrande will be looking to make things right when they face Japan’s Cerezo Osaka. Osaka won their first match against the South Koreans Jeju United 1-0 and will be looking to continue the form. This is definitely one to watch out for.
Shanghai Shenhua vs Sydney FC
Finishing off the 2nd round of fixtures is Shanghai Shenhua vs Sydney FC. The Aussie side will have to look to improve on their first game 2-0 defeat to Suwon Bluewings. However, it’s a stiff test they have against them in Shenhua who are clear favourites. Shenhua drawing 1-1 in their first game, however, may make this a closer test than it should be.
How do you think the 2nd round of fixtures will go? Find out on Tuesday 20th and Wednesday the 21st.