Ventforet make history as all four J.League teams win in AFC Champions League

Ventforet make history as all four J.League teams win in AFC Champions League

The four Meiji Yasuda J.League clubs had a great Matchday 2 in the group stage of the AFC Champions League. Each of the teams walked away with wins, aiding their bids to advance to the knockout stages.

Ventforet Kofu were the big stars, earning their first Champions League victory in their first Champions League home match. Michael Woud was the star of the first half, making multiple outstanding saves to keep Thailand’s Buriram United at bay. The second half brought more chances for Ventforet, primarily on crosses, as they forced an excellent save and hit the woodwork before Motoki Hasegawa headed home in the 90th minute to seal a famous win for the J2 club.

The win put Ventforet on four points in Group H, level with first place Melbourne City, who the Japanese club drew in Australia on Matchday 1.

Yokohama F·Marinos picked up a massive win of their own. After falling at home in their tournament opener, the Tricolor went to China to beat Shandong Taishan, 1-0. Élber made the difference with a phenomenal piece of play to feed Kota Mizunuma for the Marinos goal, sending the reigning J1 champions to three points that took them up to second place in Group G.

The Champions League holders Urawa Reds sprinted to a dominant victory in Vietnam, beating Hanoi FC, 6-0. Five different Urawa players scored, to go along with an own goal, as the Reds rolled to a victory in front of an adoring home crowd that stayed in full voice despite heavy rain in the second half. The win took Urawa to four points in Group J, which is good for second place.

Finally, Kawasaki Frontale remained top of Group I with a very impressive win over Ulsan Hyundai. Frontale were on the front foot from the beginning and had the K League champions pinned back, but couldn’t find a way through. It looked like they may have to settle for a draw despite their great play, but Kento Tachibanada hit an absolute bullet from more than 25 yards to score an 89th minute winner that was very well deserved for a full six points from two matches.

The AFC Champions League will return to play in three weeks and all four J.League clubs will do so in terrific position thanks to their Matchday 2 victories.