Thursday, 25th June 2009
Osaka crash out of Asian Champions League
Defending Asian champions Gamba Osaka's bid to defend their Asian Champions League crown ended in failure after they fell to a 3-2 defeat against Kawasaki Frontale.
Osaka were unable to maintain the advantage over their Japanese compatriots despite twice taking the lead through Brazilian striker Leandro, with equalisers from Kengo Nakamura and Renatinho paving the way for a late Kawasaki winner from Masaru Kurotsu.
The defeat of the reigning champions means that Kawsaki Frontale will progress to the quarter finals as one of two Japanese representatives, joining Nagoya Grampus, who booked their place with a 2-1 home win over South Korean outfit Suwon Bluewings.
Also in contention were Kashima Antlers, who were held to a 2-2 draw after extra time by FC Seoul before succumbing to a 5-4 defeat in the resulting penalty shoot-out.
Earlier this month, the Japanese national team guaranteed their place at the 2010 World Cup with a 1-0 victory over Uzbekistan.
Written by Graham McPherson