J.League teams back on top in AFC Champions League Group Stage

J.League teams back on top in AFC Champions League Group Stage

All four Meiji Yasuda J.League teams in the AFC Champions League are now top of their groups heading into Matchday 5.

Vissel Kobe held their spot atop Group J, while Kawasaki Frontale, Yokohama F·Marinos and Urawa Reds all leapt up to first in their groups to make it a perfect four-for-four after the most recent set of games.

The biggest win of the matchday came from Frontale, who thrashed Malaysia’s Johor Darul Ta'zim FC, 5-0. JDT had been undefeated in Group I, but Yu Kobayashi scored twice to lead a dominant Frontale to an emphatic and crucial win. The Japanese side now sits atop the group on eight points, ahead of JDT and K League team Ulsan Hyundai, who are tied on seven points.

F·Marinos also picked up a big win, beating Australia’s Sydney FC, 3-0. Yuki Saneto and Takuma Nishimura each scored within 11 minutes, putting the Tricolor up early. Anderson Lopes finished off the victory with an 87th minute tally, thrusting Marinos to the top of Group H with nine points. Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors are one point behind, with Marinos set to play the Korean side on the final matchday.

Urawa played Republic of Korea’s Daegu FC for the second consecutive game and this time earned a draw in a 0-0 stalemate. The draw kept the two sides level on points, now seven, while Singapore’s Lion City Sailors are now also on seven points. Marinos win the three-way tiebreaker, putting them top of the group, but it will be a battle between those three sides over the final two matchdays.

Like Urawa, Vissel played to a 0-0 draw. The Ushi’s tie with Thailand’s Chiangrai United kept them atop Group J with seven points, meaning they may even clinch first place before they return to action on the final matchday in the three-team group.