|On the ball: Defender Dang Van Robert of Becamex Binh Duong (right) vies for a ball against a Shandong Luneng player during their group match on February 24. In yesterday game, Binh Duong lost 1-3 to Shandong Luneng. — VNS Photo Tuan Tu
HA NOI (VNS) — Becamex Binh Duong suffered their fourth loss at the Asian Football Confederation Champions League yesterday, with Shandong Luneng beating them 3-1 in Jinan City, China.
The Vietnamese champions have no more hope of advancing to the next round of the tournament while Shandong Luneng kept alive their hopes of remaining contention for the knockout stages.
Binh Duong began brightly and took the lead in the 20 minute through captain Nguyen Trong Hoang.
Stung, Shandong roared back and Yang Xu headed home the equaliser on the 27th minute before goals after the hour mark from Junior Urso and Yang gave the scoreline an accurate reflection of their dominance.
Although Binh Duong faded in the second period, they were on top for the opening spell and Shandong defender Dai Lin almost inadvertently put the visitors ahead inside 10 minutes after he mis-kicked a cross towards his own net needing Wang Dalei to palm the ball over.
Wang was called into action again shortly after, this time keeping out Michal Nguyen's powerful header from Trinh Quang Vinh's cross with an athletic save.
But the Chinese goalkeeper could do little to prevent Binh Duong's opener.
Errors from both Dai Lin and then Li Songyi saw the ball break to Hoang inside the penalty area, and the striker coolly slotted the ball through the legs of Wang.
Seven minutes later, Shandong found their leveller. Brazil international Diego Tardelli curled in an inviting cross from the right that Yang buried past Esele with a bullet header.
After the interval, the Chinese Super League side looked intent on taking control of the match and went in front through their Brazilian duo.
Tardelli's pass across goal looked to be over-hit but found compatriot Junior Urso making a late run at the far post and he sent the ball goalwards past Esele and defender Au Van Hoan.
Shandong's advantage was stretched to two goals just eight minutes later as Yang Xu netted his sixth goal of the AFC Champions League campaign from close-range with the ball ricocheting off both Esele and defender Pham Minh Duc into the net.
In another Group E match, goals from Brazilian Eduardo and Kosuke Taketomi helped Kashiwa Reysol overcome former winners Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors 3-2 and claim the top spot.
They secured a berth in the round of 16 with a game to spare.
The Japanese side had the better of the opening stages and went in front inside 10 minutes through a fine header from Eduardo. The 2013 semi-finalists went into half-time with a 3-0 advantage after two goals from Taketomi and forward Christiano.
South Korea's Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors came out stronger after the interval and scored twice through captain Lee Dong-gook – who is now all-time leading scorer in the AFC Champions League with 27 goals.
The last matches of the group will be played on May 6. — VNS