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MENAFN - Arab News - 14/03/2014
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(MENAFN -Arab News) hong kong: western sydney wanderers claimed their first-ever victory in the afc champions league with a 1-0 win over chinese fa cup winners guizhou renhe thanks to a goal from forward mark bridge, while fellow a-league side central coast mariners posted a priceless 2-1 victory over j. league champions sanfrecce hiroshima in an enthralling series of encounters on matchday two of the continental championship this week

Bridge was on hand to stab home from close range after just eight minutes of western sydney's second-ever afc champions league fixture at guiyang olympic center stadium to move tony popovic's side up into second place in group h behind early pacesetters ulsan hyundai

In group c, mukhtar fallatah made up for a missed penalty by scoring twice in eight second half minutes to give al-ittihad of saudi arabia a 2-1 win over al ain of the united arab emirates

Former champions ulsan achieved their own milestone by extending their incredible afc champions league winning streak to 11 games with a 2-0 victory over j. league side kawasaki frontale on wednesday thanks to two late goals at munsu stadium

Strikes from yoo jun-soo and kim shin-wook put the 2011 winners, who are now also undefeated in 13 continental games stretching back to may 2009, on top of group h

Also in the east, a first half brace from mile sterjovski secured australia's central coast a famous come-from-behind 2-1 victory over hiroshima in their group f match on tuesday at central coast stadium

?this is a very proud moment for the club and a famous victory for the central coast mariners and the a-league; i am very proud of my players,? said mariners coach phil moss

?that result has been building for a few weeks; the mariners are always a club that flies under the radar and enjoys the underdog tag but i've got so much belief in the boys in the dressing room and that's from numbers one to 23.?

Last year's finalists fc seoul, meanwhile, needed substitute go yo-han to rescue a 1-1 draw with beijing guoan on tuesday in group f's other fixture after peter utaka had given the chinese super league side the lead on coach gregorio manzano's birthday

?i had hoped to have three points as a birthday gift, but i am also quite happy and satisfied with the fighting spirit and tactical quality that my players presented,? said manzano

After putting a dampener on the spaniard's celebrations, fc seoul were also able to maintain their unbeaten record in the competition this season despite being unable to hit the heights of last month's 2-0 home win over australia's central coast mariners

In the west, a goalkeeping error from mehdi rahmati gifted al rayyan a narrow 1-0 victory over two-time asian champions esteghlal in their group a fixture in doha on tuesday

Al rayyan forward kalu uche profited from a fumble from rahmati to give the emir cup winners the lead and condemn the iranian champions to a second consecutive 1-0 defeat after their shock matchday one defeat in tehran to saudi side al shabab

While in the day's later game in riyadh, al jazira of the united arab emirates moved three points clear at the top of group a with a stunning 3-1 victory over al shabab

Also in the west, xhevahir sukaj fired home a late winner as iranian side sepahan bounced back from their matchday one defeat to qatar's al sadd with a come-from-behind victory to beat saudi arabia's al hilal 3-2 on wednesday in group d

The result lifts the four-time iran pro league champions up to second in the group after al sadd and al ahli of the united arab emirates shared a 1-1 draw

Elsewhere, after their impressive 4-2 comeback victory against melbourne victory on matchday one, defending champions guangzhou evergrande were held to a 1-1 draw by yokohama f. marinos in group g on wednesday evening with italian import alessandro diamanti the savior once again with a sublime free-kick that canceled out jin hanato's opener

In group g's earlier game, australia's melbourne were forced to settle for a 2-2 draw with jeonbuk hyundai motors

Former champions pohang steelers, meanwhile, earned a 2-1 win over thailand's buriram united on tuesday evening as the k-league classic champions joined shandong luneng at the top of the early standings in group e after the chinese super league runners-up posted an important 3-1 away win over japan's cerezo osaka thanks to a brace from brazilian forward vagner love

In group b, qatar's el jaish posted their first win of the campaign after achieving a deserved 2-1 victory over uzbekistan's bunyodkor, while foolad khouzestan recorded only their second-ever afc champions league victory after edging out saudi arabia's al fateh by a single goal.


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