The AFC Champions League continued with Matchday 2 of the group stage and it was another success on balance for the Meiji Yasuda J.League representatives.
Kawasaki Frontale, Urawa Reds, and Vissel Kobe all secured victory, though the circumstances surrounding the wins were all quite different.
Urawa, who beat Singapore’s Lion City Sailors 4-1 in their first match, were even more dominant this time around. They scored twice prior to halftime before Alex Schalk led a second half onslaught with two goals of his own en route to a 5-0 victory over China’s Shandong Taishan. Urawa are now on six points, three clear of their next closest Group F challenger.
Vissel are in a three-team group after the withdrawal of China’s Shanghai Port so they did not play on Matchday 1, but their return to the competition on Tuesday saw them ride goals by Yuta Goke and Shion Inoue to a 2-1 win over Hong Kong’s Kitchee to go top of the group despite only playing one match.
Kawasaki Frontale also had a good Matchday 2, cruising past China’s Guangzhou FC, 8-0. Shintaro Kurumaya and Yu Kobayashi led the way with two goals apiece, but it was a total team effort as Frontale took a 5-0 lead into halftime before playing out a dominant victory. Coupled with their draw in the opening match, Frontale now sit on four points, good for second place in Group I.
The lone J1 League side to stumble was Yokohama F·Marinos, who lost to the K League’s Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors, 1-0. Marinos are still in second place in Group H on three points, a single point behind Jeonbuk, so they remain in competitive position for a knockout-stage berth.