Kawasaki Frontale and Yokohama F·Marinos both turned in terrific performances to take full points on Matchday 3 of the AFC Champions League group stage and move one step closer to a place in the knockout stages.
Frontale have been superb from the very beginning of the tournament and that did not change in their visit to BG Pathum United. An early goal by Daiya Tono set the tone and, while the Thai side did equalize just before halftime, Frontale dominated the second half. Marcinho’s spectacular solo goal highlighted the Japanese club's run to a 4-2 win and full points in the reunion with former Frontale winger and Thai star Chanathip Songkrasin.
The win took Frontale to nine points from three matches with wins over each of the three other clubs in Group I, putting them in excellent position to make their way into the knockout stages.
Marinos were equally as dominant in a 3-0 win over Kaya FC. Kota Mizunuma, Kenyu Sugimoto and Anderson Lopes all scored for the Tricolor as they kept the ball for more than 80% of the match and nearly tripled the Filipino side’s shots.
The Tricolor now sit joint top of Group G with South Korea’s Incheon United and China’s Shandong Taishan, all on six points.
Urawa were beaten by the K League’s Pohang Steelers at Saitama Stadium 2002, as they struggled to turn their possession into chances. The loss kept the Reds second in Group J, but China’s Wuhan Three Towns are now level with them on four points.
Ventforet suffered their first loss of the Champions League as well, falling to Zhejiang, 2-0. Ventforet conceded early, forcing them to chase the game and concede a second goal in China, but they still hold second place in Group H on four points.
The AFC Champions League resumes play in two weeks with Matchday 4, as all four Japanese clubs continue their quest for continental glory.