RECAP: WEEKEND ASIAN ROUNDUP
Daniel Schmidt and Vegalta Sendai closed the gap in their hunt for an Asian Champions League spot in Japan while Mix Diskerud and Ulsan Hyundai continued their winning ways in Korea.
Two second half goals helped Vegalta Sendai cut the gap on FC Tokyo for the third spot in the AFC Asian Champions League s they came away with a 2-1 win over Gamba Osaka at the Yurtec Stadium.
Gamba, one of the most accomplished teams in the Japan's top flight, has been struggling as of late and in need of all the points they can get to avoid relegation. Sendai, on the other hand, have come out of their mini-slump, to win their two previous games before entering the weekend's contest.
It would be the visitors who would open the scoring in the 27th minute when Kazuma Watanabe was released in the area with a through-ball from teammate Takahiro Koh, and the forward got his shot past Schmidt.
However, Sendai would push hard for the equalizer in the second half and were rewarded in the 54th minute when Takuma Nishimura pounced on a deflected pass and poked his shot past Gamba goalkeeper Masaaki Higashiguchi.
Then Sendai got some luck three minutes later when Gamba's Jae-Suk Oh headed the ball inot his own goal.
This would prove to the game-winner, but Gamba had one last attempt to tie up the game when Shu Kurata had a shot from point-blank range. However, Schmidt did well to clear the danger with a kick save.
Sendai remains in eighth place with 35 points, but have now cut the deficit to five points as FC Tokyo sits in that third spot with 40 points.
Mix Diskerud started for Ulsan Hyundai as two late goals gave them a 2-0 win over Daegu FC. Ulsan have now moved up to third place in the K League standings with 39 points.
It was a rough weekend for Jonny Campbell and Phnom Penh Crown as they suffered a 4-0 thrashing at the hands of Cambodia Tiger. The team remains in fifth place in the C-League standings with 27 points.