The third match day of the 2018 AFC Champions League wrapped up on Wednesday night, ending a mostly positive week for Japanese clubs.
On Tuesday, Junya Ito’s go-ahead goal in the 66th minute was enough to push Kashiwa Reysol to a 1-0 win over Hong Kong’s Kitchee, whose starting XI featured former Cerezo Osaka striker Diego Forlan.
With four points after three matches, Reysol trail second-place Tianjin Quanjian in Group E on tiebreakers.
Later that night, Cerezo Osaka suffered a 2-0 loss at Buriram United after fielding a squad of reserve players.
Following last Friday’s 3-3 draw against Consadole Sapporo, Yoon Jong-hwan made the decision to leave his starters from that match in Osaka. Cerezo, who with four points trail second place Buriram on goal difference, will welcome the Thai side to Nagai Stadium next week.
Wednesday evening saw Kashima Antlers dominate hosts Sydney FC, with Shoma Doi and Naomichi Ueda scoring in a 2-0 win. The 2016 FIFA Club World Cup runners-up lead Group H with seven points.
Meanwhile at Todoroki Stadium, Kawasaki Frontale were forced to settle for a 2-2 draw against Melbourne Victory when Leroy George converted from the penalty spot in stoppage time. Last year’s quarterfinalists are last in Group F with just one point.