Note: the results below focus on the two matches with special QNet activation, i.e. the QNet Players Escorts Programme during the match between Al Hilal and Al Gharafa on 15 March and the QNet Flag Bearers Programme during the match between Arema Indonesia and Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors on 16 March. All other match results can be viewed on http://www.the-afc.com/en/tournaments/clubs/afc-champions-league.
Tuesday: 15 March 2011
Al Gharafa 0 – 1 Al Hilal
Doha: Christian Wilhelmsson bagged three points for Al Hilal as the Saudi club ensured Al Gharafa’s first match under Bruno Metsu ended in a 1-0 defeat.
The former Sweden international finished from close range in the first-half for the only goal of the game at Thani Bin Jassim Stadium.
The match officially began when all players were escorted out onto the field by the children of QNet’s Qatari IRs, wearing QNet-branded apparel in what was a proud moment for QNet representatives in Qatar.
After a cagey start, Mohamed Gharib snuck past two Al Gharafa players to get in a sharp header in the 15th minute but defender Ibrahim Al Ghanim thwarted him.
A minute later, Al Gharafa striker Younus Mahmood found the back of the net but the linesman declared the goal offside.
In the 19th minute, Gharib glided past George Kwesi but lost possession as he charged into the Al Gharafa box. However, Wilhelmsson swooped on the ball and calmly produced a chip past goalkeeper Qassim Burhan to open the scoring.
Four minutes later, Al Hilal’s Mohammed Al Shalhoub shot from close range but his effort was smartly collected by a leaping Burhan standing close to the goal line.
Mounting another attack, Wilhelmsson came close to scoring his second but Kwesi and captain Juninho combined well to block his shot in the 27th minute.
A minute from the break, midfielder Juninho curled a free-kick in but Mahmood’s header from the edge of the box went beyond the far post.
Al Gharafa’s Iraqi striker Mahmood fired a bullet from close to the penalty spot eight minutes after the restart but Al Hilal goalkeeper Hasan Al Otaibi was well positioned to punch the shot away.
In the 84th minute, Al Hilal’s Al Dawsari produced a fierce shot from the edge of the box but his shot bounced off the crossbar.
Wednesday: 16 March 2011
Arema Indonesia 0 – 4 Jeonbuk Motors
Malang: Two goals from Luiz Enrique and one each from Huang Bowen and Kim Jee-wong saw Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors ease past Arema Indonesia 4-0 at Kanjuruhan Stadium.
Football fans in Malang turned up in droves, a testament to the sport’s popularity in Indonesia. However, the final score was somewhat harsh on Arema, who were competitive throughout the 2011 AFC Champions League Group G clash.
The game was made extra special for QNet and its IRs attending the game. Prior to kick-off, QNet-dressed teenagers carrying giant ACL flags accompanied the players of both teams out onto the field.
The game proper started when, in the third minute, Mohamed Ridhuan was fouled but Roman Chmelo blazed his free-kick over the bar. A minute later, a shot from Kruno Lovrek was off target for Jeonbuk.
Arema created a glorious opening to take the lead in the 22nd minute after Chmelo jinked past a defender and fed Yongki Aribowo but the young striker could not reach the pass.
Jeonbuk then drew first blood in the 25th minute when Kim Jee-wong met Lee Sung-hyun’s delivery with a volley that beat the Arema keeper.
The home side almost pulled level four minutes later when Ahmad Amiruddin glided past a defender but his shot smacked the crossbar after keeper Kim Min-sik managed to get a touch on it.
Ahmad Bustomi was then fouled near the penalty area but Esteban Guillen wasted the chance when the Uruguayan’s free-kick flew over the bar in the 40th minute
Arema tried to fashion a riposte shortly after when Chmelo delivered a defence-splitting pass to Ridhuan but the Singaporean winger shot too high.
The Korean side doubled their lead in the 76th minute when Jung Hoon crossed into a dangerous area and Kim Dong chan headed the ball across the goalmouth before former Beijing Guoan midfielder Huang applied the finish.
Luiz Henrique made it 3-0 to Jeonbuk in the 80th minute with a sublime finish from a narrow angle before a solo effort from the same player led to a fourth goal.
The result means Jeonbuk now top the Group G table following two consecutive wins while Arema Indonesia are still searching for their first point.