Tue, 26 Jan 2021

BEIJING, Nov. 28 (Xinhua) -- Both Guangzhou Evergrande and Shanghai SIPG won their vital matches on Saturday in the AFC Champions League group stage in Doha, Qatar, moving one step closer to the Round of 16.

Guangzhou played against Japan's Vissel Kobe, which had already qualified for the Round of 16 prior to this match, while the Chinese powerhouse was riding a five-game winless streak.

Guangzhou broke the deadlock in the 17th minute as Anderson Talisca converted a penalty after he was fouled in the box. The Chinese Super League side kept knocking on the door, but Talisca missed two chances in succession.

Chinese naturalized player Ai Kesen doubled the lead after his right footed free-kick settled in the net in the 37th minute.

The J1 League side upped the ante close to the end of the match, but substitute Andres Iniesta could not help Vissel Kobe to change the final score.

The 2-0 result sees Guangzhou rise to the second place in Group G on four points, three ahead of Suwon Samsung Bluewings while Vissel Kobe stay in top spot on six points.

Shanghai beat Yokohama F. Marinos 2-1, moving level in the group with their opponents on nine points.

Shanghai opened the scoring in 14th minute as 31-year-old Cai Huikang headed the ball into the top right corner, Cai's first AFC Champions League goal in five seasons.

But the two teams were back on level terms just seven minutes later as Teruhito Nakagawa passed the ball to Ado Onaiwu in the six yard box and Ado's left-footed shot from the left found the back of the net.

Ricardo Lopes scored the winner in the second half for Shanghai SIPG as Lopes shot the ball from the centre of the box to the bottom left corner in the 55th minute.

Shanghai can book their place in the Round of 16 with a draw in the upcoming match against Sydney FC, while Yokohama F. Marinos also need to avoid defeat in their encounter with Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors to book their place in the next round and eliminate the K League 1 champions.

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