Japanese club Cerezo Osaka have drawn first blood in the AFC Champion League quarter-final with a thrilling 4-3 win over Jeonbuk Motors.
The home side fell behind on three occasions to eventually haul in the South Koreans at Nagai Stadium with Cerezo’s Hiroshi Kiyotake second-half double canceling out Jeonbuk’s Lee Dong-gook who scored a brace in the first half.
Lee opened the scoring in the sixth minute before Ryuji Brando leveled on the half-hour mark and then Lee made it 2-1 in stoppage time.
Cerezo again fought back when Kiyotake equalised ten minutes after the re-start but for the third time in the game, Jeonbuk hit the lead through Cho Sung-hwan in the 58th minute.
But that was it from the K-League club as Cerezo’s Kim Bo-kyung converted a 64th minute penalty to make it 3-3 ahead of Kiyotake’s winner eight minutes from time.
Cerezo will now take the advantage into the second leg at Jeonju World Cup Stadium on September 27 and coach Levir Culpi was happy his players could fight back.
"Our players showed great concentration at a crucial moment and that produced our winning goal," said Culpi.
"That turned out to be a perfect strike for us. I am so happy about that and want to praise their concentration.”
Whilst Jeonbuk boss Choi Kang-hee was positive despite the loss as his side scored three away
"We eventually lost the game, but both teams played their best and fought for 90 minutes," he said.
"We lost concentration at the last minute and the result is disappointing. It would have been better if we could have drawn.
"But this is just the first-half of the game and we still have 90 minutes at home. We are strong at our home. We will work on what needs to be fixed for the return leg, which I think will be a different game.”