J.League clubs prepare for AFC Champions League second legs

Results of AFC Champions League Round of 16 matches for Kawasaki Frontale, Yokohama F·Marinos, and Ventforet Kofu

Kawasaki Frontale kicked off their 2024 AFC Champions League campaign with a solid 3-2 victory over Shandong Taishan in the first leg of the Round of 16. New signing Erison made an immediate impact by converting a penalty, followed by Marcinho’s diving header to double the lead. Despite a goal from Shandong, Akihiro Ienaga’s solo effort restored Frontale’s two-goal advantage. A late goal from the Chinese side narrowed the score to 3-2, but Frontale still holds the edge heading into the return leg in Kawasaki.

Yokohama F·Marinos also had a positive start to their Round of 16 tie, securing a 2-2 draw with Bangkok United in Thailand. Élber and Kota Watanabe gave Marinos a 2-0 lead, but goals from Nitipong Selanon and Mahmoud Eid saw Bangkok United equalize. Marinos will now look to their home support in Yokohama for the crucial second leg, knowing a win will send them through to the quarter-finals.

On the other hand, Ventforet Kofu suffered a 3-0 defeat at the hands of Ulsan Hyundai, with Joo Min-kyu netting a brace for the South Korean side. Ventforet will need a remarkable comeback in the return leg to keep their Champions League hopes alive.

All three Japanese clubs will play their second legs on home soil this week, hoping to capitalize on the familiarity of their surroundings and the support of their fans to secure progression to the next round of the competition.

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