Friday , July 19 2024

Kante’s late winner keeps Urawa’s Asian Champions League hopes alive


Title holders Urawa Red Diamonds kept their hopes of a place in the Asian Champions League knockout stages alive on Wednesday as Jose Kante’s 90th-minute strike earned Maciej Skorza’s side a 2-1 win over China’s Wuhan Three Towns.

Kante’s winner at Saitama Stadium came after Alex Scholz’s 37th-minute penalty for Urawa had been canceled out by Davidson’s 68th-minute equalizer in a game both sides needed to win to stay in contention for a last-16 place.

Former Guinea international Kante sent his left-foot strike into the bottom corner of Liu Danzuo’s goal from the edge of the area to move Urawa on to seven points from five games and eliminate Wuhan.

Urawa have seven points and are second behind Pohang Steelers, who secured top spot in Group J this month.

Kim Gi-dong’s team picked up a fifth consecutive victory in the competition on Wednesday with a 2-0 defeat of Hanoi FC.

Urawa take on Hanoi in their final group game on Dec. 5 and need to win to have any chance of claiming one of the three best runners-up berths in the last 16 as only group winners are guaranteed to advance.

Bangkok United secured one of those berths by claiming top spot in Group F with a 1-0 win over Lion City Sailors, which came courtesy of Rungrath Phumichantuk’s 86th-minute free kick.

The Thais have opened up an unassailable four-point gap over former champions Jeonbuk Motors with one game remaining despite the South Korean side’s 2-1 win over Kitchee in Hong Kong.

In Group H, Japanese second division side Ventforet Kofu continue to lead the way after Jumma Miyazaki’s 85th-minute header secured a 3-3 draw with Melbourne City in a pulsating clash at the National Stadium in Tokyo.

The pair are level on eight points after five games with Kofu leading due to having scoring more goals than the Australian side.

Buriram United missed the opportunity to move into pole position when the Thai outfit slipped to a 3-2 loss against Zhejiang FC in China.

Haris Vuckic gace Buriram a ninth-minute lead but Leonardo, Franko Andrijasevic and Lucas Possignolo scored to earn Zhejiang a win that moved them on to six points and ensured all four sides in the group were within two points of each other.

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