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Guangzhou stuns K-League champion 5-1 in AFC opener

Updated: 2012-03-09 11:11
( Xinhua)

Guangzhou stuns K-League champion 5-1 in AFC opener

Guangzhou Evergrande forward Cleo celebrates after scoring against South Korea's Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors during their preliminary Group H football match for the AFC Champions League in Jeonju, about 200 kms south of Seoul, March 7, 2012. [Photo/Agencies]

JEONJU, South Korea - Chinese Super League champions Guangzhou Evergrande crushed South Korean K-League champions Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors 5-1 on Saturday in their AFC Champions League debut.

Brazilian trio Cleo, Conca, and Muriqui contributed all five goals for the visiting side, while Jeonbuk's Jeong Shung-hoon scored a consolation one for the homeside.

"We are fighting not only for the club, but for the country," Guangzhou's coach Lee Jang-soo said after the match.

The Chinese national team had miss-qualified to the final 10 of the Asian qualifiers of the 2014 World Cup, the AFC champions league lied their final hope for the country's international reputation.

Cleo opened the scoring after a lucky touch by Gaolin into the 27th minute in the first half. Jeonbuk fought hard for the equalizer, only to see Conca added another for the away side with a free-kick 30 meters from the goal-line. Guangzhou had a comfortable 2-0 lead before the half time whistle.

Guangzhou stuns K-League champion 5-1 in AFC opener

Supporters of Guangzhou Evergrande react in the game against South Korea's Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors during a Group H football match of the AFC Champions League in Jeonju, March 7, 2012. [Photo/CFP]

The second half saw the home team struggling for the hope while the away side enjoying their couter-strike. Cleo's goal in the 68th minute already kill the game.

Jeong Shunghoon's trick goal in the box left the home team a slender hope, but their final struggle was paled as Conca scored twice almost from the same position with a curly effort, who was happy to see his hard-working teammate Muriqui added the cherry on the cake before the final whistle.

"I am sorry we have lost the game, and by such a scoring, we got many players injured before the match, which I think it is the major reason," said Lee Heung -sil, Jeonbuk's coach who took charge of the team last winter.

With the league champions of China, Japan, South Korea and Thailand, Group H appears to be the toughest section in the AFC Champions League. Guangzhou already put their noses in front after acquiring 3 points and 4-goal difference.

"We are now leading the group, but we have about 3 or 4 games to qualify from the group," said Lee Jang-soo.

Guangzhou stuns K-League champion 5-1 in AFC opener

Guangzhou Evergrande midfielder Conca (R) celebrates with teammate forward Cleo (L) after scoring against South Korea's Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors during their preliminary Group H football match for the AFC Champions League in Jeonju, March 7, 2012. [Photo/Agencies]

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