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Kashima downs Shenhua, Tianjin holds Mariners

TAKUYA Nozawa and Yuya Osako scored as J-League champion Kashima Antlers defeated Shanghai Shenhua 2-0 yesterday for its first win in Group G of the Asian Champions League.

Kashima went ahead seconds before half time when Nozawa beat two defenders and then the Shenhua goalkeeper to score.

Osako doubled the lead in the 79th minute, taking a pass from Brazilian Marquinhos and firing in from close range.

The win ended a frustrating run for Kashima.

Oswaldo De Oliveira's team was beaten 1-4 by South Korea's Suwon Bluewings in its first match of the ACL last week before losing to Albirex Niigata 1-2 in the domestic league on the weekend.

Shanghai, which beat Singapore's Armed Forces 4-1 in its opening match of the tournament, pressed forward early in the second half but couldn't find an equalizer before Osako put the match out of reach.

In Tianjin, Wu Weian equalized with a header in the 65th minute to give Tianjin Teda a 2-2 draw against Australian side Central Coast Mariners.

Eber Luis had put the host ahead in the 35th with another header from corner, before Adrian Caceres made it 1-1 in the 49th with a low shot from outside the area. Matt Simon put Mariners ahead in the 60th after coming clear on goal and beating goalkeeper Yang Jun. Wu's equalizer then came after a corner from the left.

It was Tianjin's first point after losing to Kawasaki Frontale 1-0 in the opening game of group H match last week. Mariners have two points.

In Seoul, South Korea's Pohang Steelers and Kawasaki Frontale drew 1-1 at the Steelyard Stadium. Kim Jae-sung gave Pohang an early lead in a bright first half though Kawasaki soon drew level via defender Shuhei Tarada.

Pohang had the best of the second half but was unable to find a winning goal.

Pohang now has two points from two games while the Japanese team tops the group with four.

In Singapore, Brazilian forward Edu scored twice in the second half to lead Suwon Samsung Bluewings 2-0 over Singapore's Armed Forces. Suwon moved into the first place in Group G.


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