Al Hilal win to begin Asian Champions League title defense
SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — Al Hilal of Saudi Arabia began its defense of the Asian Champions League title by defeating newcomer Shahr Khodro of Iran 2-0 on Tuesday.
Coach Razvan Lucescu warned his side was in for a hard time with a target on its back as the titleholder.
The Melbourne Victory kicked off the eastern zone of the league by beating Chiangrai United of Thailand 1-0.
A first-half penalty converted by captain Ola Toivonen — the Swede was fouled in the area by Tanasak Srisai — was all Melbourne needed against the tournament debutant. A plucky Chiangrai was reduced to 10 late when Thirayu Banhan was sent off.
With the scheduled game between Beijing Guoan and FC Seoul postponed — all games involving the four Chinese teams have been postponed to April and May because of the coronavirus — the win put Melbourne to the top of Group E.
Ulsan Hyundai from South Korea came back to draw with visiting FC Tokyo 1-1 after a scoreless first half. Brazilian striker Diego opened the scoring for the J-League runner-up just after the hour, and with eight minutes remaining, an own goal from Adailton gave Ulsan, the 2012 champion, a point.
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