AFC Champions League wrap: Nagoya held, Esteghlal win

J-League champions Nagoya Grampus were held to a 1-1 home draw by Seoul in the AFC Champions League on Wednesday.With the J-League season being postponed due to the earthquake that shook the country, Nagoya entered the match with the risk of being underdone and were facing a Seoul side who had won both of their Group F fixtures so far.

But a lack of football did not seem to affect Nagoya, at least not in the early stages, as Japanese international Kensuke Nagai found the back of the net after 13 minutes to give the hosts an early lead.

But the Japanese side failed to add to their advantage and were made to pay when Hyun-Tae Choi grabbed the equaliser for the Korean side just after the hour mark.

The result leaves Seoul on top of the group with seven points from three matches, while Nagoya are bottom of the group with just one point from two fixtures.

In the other Group F match, Al Ain of the United Arab Emirates claimed a point in a goalless draw with Hangzhou Lucheng in China.

In Group H, Sydney FC played out an entertaining 1-1 draw with Shanghai Shenhua at the Sydney Football Stadium.

The visitors took a sixth minute lead after Dubier Riascos found the back of the net via a deflection, but just seven minutes later Nick Carle cancelled out the opener with a tidy finish.

The other fixture in Group H also ended in a 1-1 draw, with Koji Nakata’s 71st minute strike for the Kashima Antlers cancelling out Ki-Hyun Yeom’s opener.

Zob Ahan of Iran claimed a 3-1 away win against Al Rayyan in Group D thanks to goals from Mohamad Khalatbari Limaki, Igor Castro and Ghasem Haddadifar, while a brace from Alhassane Keita kickstarted Al Shabab in their 4-0 win over Emirates.

In Group B, another Iranian side finished on the winners list, with Esteghlal defeating Pakhtakor of Uzbekistan 4-2.

Dusan Savic fired the Uzbekis in front after just four minutes but first-half strikes from Hawar Mulla Mohammed and Farhad Majidi gave Esteghal a 2-1 lead at half-time, before further goals from Mehdi Salehi and Arash Borhani sealed the result.