Highlights of AFC Champions League matches

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Big-spending Chinese side Guangzhou Evergrande kicked off their AFC Champions League campaign in style on Wednesday, thumping last year’s beaten finalists Jeonbuk Hundai Motors of South Korea 5-1.

Elsewhere, a stunning injury-time overhead kick from Brazilian striker Hevertinho earned 2010 champions Seongnam Ilhwa Chunma of South Korea a 2-2 draw with Japan’s Nagoya Grampus.

It may be Asia’s continental showpiece club tournament, but it was South American players who were making the biggest impact.

Evergrande’s Brazilian striker Cleverson Gabriel Cordova and Argentinian midfielder Conca each scored twice at the Jeonju World Cup Stadium, with another Braziliain, Luiz Guilherme da Conceicao Silva, adding the fifth.

“This is not the end, it is just the beginning. There are still five matches to play and we have to be ready for all of them,” said Guangzhou’s Korean coach Lee Jang-Soo.

“We have very good foreign players and that was very important for us and helped us win.”

Jeonbuk were 3-0 down in the Group H clash before Jeong Shung-Hoon’s exquisite back-heel in the 70th minute gave them a glimmer of hope.

But three minutes later Conca’s superb 25-yard strike put the match beyond reach and Silva added the fifth two minutes after that, drilling the ball below the goalkeeper from the edge of the area.

In Nagoya, Hevertinho’s spectacular overhead effort – the last kick of the game – rescued a point for Chunma against Grampus in Group G.

The Brazilian striker, whose full name is Heverton Duraes Coutinho Alves, had given the Korean side the lead two minutes after half-time.

But a Josh Kennedy penalty 10 minutes later levelled the game and when Mu Kamazawa side-footed the ball into the net from the edge of the area, the Japanese side looked as if they had done enough.

Hevertinho had other ideas, however, spinning on a cross from the right to take a point back to South Korea.

“Last night, during official training, I had a premonition that Hevertinho would play very well today,” said coach Shin Tae-Yong.

“I have never seen such a beautiful goal in the AFC Champions League.”

In the other Group G contest, Australia’s A-League leaders the Central Coast Mariners earned a point away in China with a battling 0-0 draw against Tianjin Teda.

The Mariners are yet to win a game in the Asian Champions League after seven attempts and survived a penalty appeal towards the end of the match.

In the other Group H game, Thailand’s Buriram United stunned Japan’s Kashiwa Reysol 3-2.

The Thai treble winners were two goals up at the end of the first half before Kashiwa hit back twice in the space of nine minutes either side of the hour mark.

But Jirawat Makkharom came to the rescue with his second goal 13 minutes from time, firing the ball high into the roof of the net from the edge of the six-yard area.

The AFC Champions League has eight groups of four teams, with the top two in each group qualifying for the knockout stage, which starts in May. Click here for the full match fixtures of AFC Champions League.

Group A
Nasaf (UZB) 2 Al Jazira (UAE) 4

Group C
Lekhwiya (QAT) 1 Al-Ahli (KSA) 0
Foolad Sepahan (IRN) 1 Al Nasr (UAE) 0

Group D
Al Shabab Al Arabi (UAE) 0 Al Gharafa (QAT) 0
Al Hilal (KSA) 1 Piroozi Athletic (IRN) 1

Group G
Nagoya Grampus (JPN) 2 Seongnam Ilhwa Chunma (KOR) 2
Tianjin Teda (CHN) 0 Central Coast Mariners (AUS) 0

Group H
Buriram United (THA) 3 Kashiwa Reysol (JPN) 2
Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors (KOR) 1 Guangzhou Evergrande (CHN) 5

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