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ACL: In debut, Jiangsu receives rude awakening from FC Seoul

Jiangsu’s Asian Champions League debut left a lot to be desired as they were crushed by FC Seoul 5-1 at the Seoul World Cup Stadium continuing Chinese futility against Korean clubs in the ACL.

The Korean champions looked excited to start their continental campaign and were all over Jiangsu from the very start, paying off with an early goal. Long serving foreigner Dejan Damjanović was given a bit of space and placed a shot in the right corner to put the home side up 1-0 in the ninth minute. Seoul continued their dominance throughout the first half hour and doubled their tally in the 33rd minute through new signing Yun Il-Lok. At the half, Jiangsu was down 2-0 and had created very few attacking chances beyond some close calls on a few corner kicks, with the chances falling to youngster Ji Xiang.

Both first half goals were created through good passing and quality shots, the Jiangsu defense’s coverage had some holes, but it was more due to the quality of the opponent’s attack. It would be a very different story in the second half as Jiangsu’s defense looked to have remained in the locker room, giving up two easy goals in the opening 15 minutes of the second half, again it was Yun and then Damjanović who scored the goals.

Jiangsu’s new foreign signing Hamdi Salihi was able to momentarily give the away fans something to cheer about when he pulled one back for the Chinese club, though Mauricio Molina completed the route with a late goal that made it 5-1 to FC Seoul.

“FC Seoul are a very strong team, and even though this is our first match in the AFC Champions League, we are not satisfied with the result. Even though FC Seoul are a good team, I did not expect a scoreline like that,” said Jiangsu coach Dragan Okuka.

This was always going to be a tough time for debutants Jiangsu Sainty, so perhaps switching their focus to the domestic league for a week will help them shake off this defeat and prepare for their ACL home opener against Vegalta Sendai, who managed a point in the day’s other match, a 1-1 draw against Buriram United.

Brandon Chemers aka B. Cheng aka A Modern Lei Feng – is a name which may be familiar to many in the Chinese blogosphere. He currently serves as Editor-in-Chief for Wild East Football and is one of the lonely souls writing about Chinese football in English for the last 10 years. Chemers' credentials are second to none – his former blog focused not only on the fortunes of his beloved Beijing Guoan FC, but a multitude of other aspects of Beijing life. He’s deservedly built a reputation in the Chinese blogosphere as an insightful observer of not only Chinese football, but also the wider picture of life in modern China and its many layers. For WEF, beyond writing about Guoan, he often focuses on fan culture and the business of Chinese football.



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