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Koreans edge Shenhua, Beijing

SUWON Samsung Bluewings moved closer to a place in the knockout stage of the Asian Champions League after rallying to beat Shanghai Shenhua 2-1 in Suwon, South Korea, yesterday.

Bulgarian star Yanko Valkanov gave Shanghai an early lead but two goals in the space of three minutes just before the break by Lee Sang-ho and Bae Ki-jong put the South Koreans in control.

Shanghai striker Hernan Barcos missed a late penalty and a chance to earn the Chinese Super League team a valuable away point.

Suwon has nine points from four games in Group G, three more than Shanghai in third place. The top two go through to the second round.

Shanghai took the lead after 12 minutes. A cross from the left was headed back across goal by Barcos and Yanko squeezed through a crowd of players to head home from close range.

Suwon struggled to impose itself on the game but equalized in style four minutes before the break.

Bae Ki-jong broke free down the right and fed Lee in the area. Standing near the penalty spot, the striker turned and fired a low shot into the far corner.

The roles were reversed just three minutes later. Lee headed on a long kick and Bae broke into the area. The striker skipped past the challenge of Du Wei and after drawing out the goalkeeper, rolled the ball into the goal.

With 13 minutes remaining, Shanghai was awarded a penalty. Argentine striker Barcos' spot kick was well-saved by Park Ho-jin.

Suwon's Li Weifeng, formerly of Shanghai, was sent off with five minutes remaining but the South Koreans hung on to take the three points.

In Beijing, a late header by Oh Jang-eun gave Ulsan Hyundai of South Korea a 1-0 win over Beijing Guo'an.

The win gives Ulsan six points, two behind group leader Nagoya Grampus.

Ulsan struggled to find a way past the impressive Beijing goalkeeper Yang Zhi before midfielder Hyun Young-min passed to Oh, whose header gave the visitors a lead in the 71st minute.

Beijing made several attempts but could not beat Ulsan goalkeeper Kim Young-kwang.

It was the second head-to-head in a month, with the South Koreans winning 1-0 at home.

In the other Group E match, Nagoya scored a 1-0 win over Australia's Newcastle Jets.

In Kashima, Japan, Shinzo Koroki scored twice as Kashima Antlers thrashed Singapore Armed Forces 5-0 to move a step closer to the knockout round.


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