Al Shabab, Kashiwa draw in Asian Champions League

Fernando Menegazzo scored late in the first half Wednesday as

Saudi club Al Shabab earned a 1-1 draw with Japanese side Kashiwa

Reysol in the Asian Champions League quarterfinals.

Japan international Masato Kudo put Reysol in front midway

through the first half when he picked up a loose ball and scored

from close range for his sixth goal of the competition.

Al Shabab equalized a minute before the break when Menegazzo

volleyed into the top corner from 12 meters (yards).

The Saudis came close to sealing the win when Macnelly Torres

hit the crossbar in the final minutes.

”I’d like to praise our players because they did a great job in

our first official game of the season,” Al Shabab coach Michel

Preud’Homme said. ”We didn’t start well, but after we gave away

the goal we responded very well and we created lots of chances,

probably more than Kashiwa so in that sense we could have won the

game.”

Al Shabab hosts the second leg in Riyadh on Sept. 18.

In Guangzhou, Dario Conca and Elkeson scored second-half goals

to lead Chinese club Guangzhou Evergrande to a 2-0 win over Qatari

side Lekhwiya.

With 18 minutes remaining, Conca calmly beat goalkeeper Claude

Amine from the penalty spot after the Argentine had been upended

inside the area.

Elkeson, making his ACL debut, beat Amine four minutes later

with a low strike. The Brazilian scored 20 goals in 21 Chinese

Super League appearances this season.

The second leg is in Doha on Sept. 18.

Elsewhere, substitute Sultan Al Sawadi scored a late equalizer

for Al Ahli as the Saudi club salvaged a 1-1 draw against K-League

champions FC Seoul while Khosro Heydari scored just 90 seconds into

the game to give Iranian champions Esteghlal a 1-0 win over

Thailand’s Buriram United in Wednesday’s other quarterfinal.