AFC Champions League Review: Holders Kashima Antlers suffer first defeat

AFC Champions League holders Kashima Antlers slipped to a surprise 1-0 defeat to Gyeongnam on Wednesday.

In a tightly contested encounter, Jordon Mutch's excellent cross teed up Takahiro Kunimoto for the winner 63 minutes in, as Gyeongnam claimed their first Group E victory.

Kashima's defeat allowed Shandong Luneng to capitalise, with Graziano Pelle's first-half goal ending a five-match winless streak away from home in the AFC Champions League courtesy of a 1-0 victory at Johor Darul Ta'zim.

With Leonardo's four-goal haul for Al-Wahda on Monday seeing the Brazilian overtake Pelle in the scoring charts, the former Southampton striker moved to within a goal of his rival with a close-range volley 22 minutes into the match.

Elsewhere, Renato Augusto played a crucial role for Beijing Guoan as they overcame Buriram United 2-0 - converting a 55th-minute penalty before placing a wonderful cross onto the head of Ba Dun.

Guoan are second in Group G behind Jeonbuk Motors, who beat Urawa Red Diamonds 2-1.

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