0 Min: Nagoya Grampus will complete qualification for the last sixteen of the AFC Champions League with a win over South Korea’s Seongnam Ilhwa Chunma today, three points enough to seal victory of Group G, and leading to a Round of 16 game against Group E’s Runner-up at home.
Seongnam equally have their sights set on topping the group, and Héverton’s 93rd minute equaliser at the Mizuho Athletic Stadium gave them a share of the spoils as they played out a 2-2 draw on Matchday One. Their qualification for the Asian Champions League was achieved by victory in the Korean FA Cup, an indifferent 2011 K-League season ending with Chunma in tenth place, and their campaign in 2012 has been equally inconsistent to date, 13 points from 10 games ensuring they sit in the same league position. However, they have fared supremely well in the Asian Champions League at home, undefeated in the competition since 2004 at the Tancheon Sports Complex.
Kick-off in this crucial fixture is scheduled for 11:30 BST/19:30 JST, and I will be bringing you all the team news shortly.
0 Min: Seongnam Ilhwa Chunma – Jung San; Sasa Ognenovski, Park Jin-Po, Hong Chul, Namgung Woong; Lim Jong-Eun, Kim Seong-Jun, Yoon Bit-Garam, Kim Sung-Hwan; Han Sang-Woon, Lee Chang-Hoon
Substitutes – Ha Kang-Jin; Yun Young-Sun; Kim Pyung-Rae; Everton Santos, Lee Hyun-Ho, Jeon Hyeon-Chul, Kim Hyun-Woo
0 Min: Nagoya Grampus – Narazaki; Tulio Tanaka, Shohei Abe, Daniel, Hayuma Tanaka; Naoshi Nakamura, Jungo Fujimoto, Yoshizumi Ogawa, Danilson, Kanazaki; Nagai
Substitutes – Takagi; Masukawa, Ishibitsu; Isomura, Yoshimura; Tamada, Maki
0 Min: A clear evening at the Tancheon Sports Complex, and referee Ali Hamad Albadwawi gets us underway.
1 Min: Yoon Bit-Garam nearly opens the scoring for the home side within 30 seconds. A cross from the left clears Shohei Abe at the back post, and Bit-Garam fires his shot into the ground, Narazaki’s excellent save low to his left forcing the ball over the bar. The resulting corner nearly falls to Han Sang-Woon inside the six yard area, Daniel’s acrobatic overhead kick clearing to outside the penalty box. Almost the worst possible start for Grampus.
6 Mins: A jittery start from the Nagoya side, Chunma settling into a passing rhythm early on. However, Ognenovski trips Yoshizumi Ogawa 25 yards from the goal, and Grampus have an excellent opportunity to test Jung San in the Chunma goal.
8 Mins: Daniel, Nagai and Kanazaki are all standing in front of the seven man Chunma wall, Ogawa directing where they should position themselves. It all goes to waste, however, as he slams his set piece into the defenders.
10 Mins: Ten minutes played, it’s Seongnam Ilhwa Chunma 0 Nagoya Grampus 0.
11 Mins: A free-kick for Chunma twenty yards and slightly to the right, Grampus with a five man wall.
12 Mins: GOAL! Han Sang-Woon lifts the ball over the wall and into the top right corner. An expertly executed free-kick gives the home side the lead. They have been much the better side so far.
12 Mins: Seongnam Ilhwa Chunma 1 Nagoya Grampus 0
14 Mins: Grampus nearly strike back immediately. Mu Kanazaki’s cross is delivered to a very dangerous area, but no Nagoya player can connect.
19 Mins: Daniel attempts a strike from distance after skipping past Kim Seong-Jun, but under pressure from Yoon Bit-Garam he can only skew his shot wide of Jung San’s right upright.
24 Mins: A spirited run from Hong Chul down the left wing causes Tulio trouble, and his crossfield pass into the penalty area reaches Han Sang-Woon. Narazaki is off his line quickly, however, and he blocks the ball away.
26 Mins: Nagoya are struggling to create any opportunities, Chunma’s fluid formation switching between a 4-5-1 and 4-3-3. They are dominating in midfield, and Jungo Fujimoto, with few attacking options available to him, sends an aimless shot wide of Jung San’s goal. Danilson in particular has been absent, and Kensuke Nagai is completely isolated in attack.
28 Mins: Mu Kanazaki beats the Chunma offside trap, but with time to control and close in on goal, he volleys wildly over the bar across the angle. A potentially precious chance wasted.
30 Mins: Nagai has his first chance of the match, Kanazaki deftly flicked a pass over the Chunma defence to the forward, but he’s ruled narrowly offside as he sends his shot just over Jung San’s crossbar.
34 Mins: A period of pressure for Grampus gives them their first corner, to be taken by Yoshizumi Ogawa from the right.
35 Mins: Ogawa’s corner is met by Danilson, but his header is turned away from the post for another corner.
35 Mins: Ogawa to take the second corner from the same position. It’s low to the near post, and easily cleared by Kim Sung-Hwan.
38 Mins: Kim Seong-Jun is pulled down on the edge of the 18-yard box by Naoshi Nakamura, and as it’s slightly to the left of the ‘D’, Lee Chang-Hoon will look to curl a shot right-footed.
39 Mins: Lee’s shot clears the wall, but this time it’s off-target as it drifts harmlessly wide of Narazaki’s right post.
40 Mins: Five minutes remaining in a forgettable first period for Nagoya Grampus, it’s Seongnam Ilhwa Chunma 1 Nagoya Grampus 0.
45 Mins: There will be one minute of added time, and Shohei Abe forces Jung San to make his first save of the game with Grampus’s first shot on target, albeit from the left touchline which drifts towards goal and the Seongnam keeper saves easily.
45 Mins+1: Referee Albadwawi draws the first half to a close.
HT: A difficult first period for Dragan Stojković’s men, who have been outwitted in midfield by the invention and the fluid formation of Chunma. Several options are available to the Grampus manager, not the least of which is Keiji Tamada who may play some part, potentially to support Kensuke Nagai upfront.
45 Mins: Action recommences, and Keiji Tamada has indeed come on, as he replaces Shohei Abe. A slight tactical and positional adjustment will be required for Grampus.
46 Mins: Naoshi Nakamura and Kim Sung-Hwan both feeling the after-effects of a crunching challenge in midfield.
50 Mins: Kim Sung-Hwan’s rising shot from outside the penalty area has Narazaki beaten as it skims the top of the crossbar.
52 Mins: Jungo Fujimoto delivers a set piece to the back post, but captain Sasa Ognenovski is on hand to head up in the air, presenting goalkeeper Jung San with an easy catch.
55 Mins: Right-back Park Jin-Po gathers a pass and unleashes a strike from 25 yards. He’s leaning back and it doesn’t trouble Narazaki.
60 Mins: A mazy run inside the penalty area from Keiji Tamada is laid off to Mu Kanazaki, who earns a corner for Grampus.
60 Mins: The corner is deep and controlled on his chest by Tulio, but a deflection takes all the pace off his volley, and it’s into the midriff of Jung San.
62 Mins: Referee Albadwawi has shown welcome restraint so far, not reaching into his pocket to show any cards thus far.
64 Mins: A change due for Chunma, Lee Hyun-Ho readying himself on the sidelines.
65 Mins: Danilson tries from distance, but his left-footed shot from 30 yards is some way off target.
65 Mins: Namgung Woong’s match is over, and Lee Hyun-Ho enters the field of play.
67 Mins: Tulio Tanaka concedes a corner under pressure from Hyun-Ho, and it will be taken by Han Sang-Woon, but not before Yuki Maki comes on to the pitch replacing Mu Kanazaki.
67 Mins: The corner is poor, along the ground and cleared from danger.
71 Mins: Grampus have found no solution to Chunma’s three attacking players pressing high up the pitch, of whom the wide players then quickly shut down both left and right channels.
72 Mins: GOAL! The home support is completely silenced. A short pass from Jungo Fujimoto releases Yoshizumi Ogawa on the right of the penalty area, and his dangerous cross is diverted off the chest of Chunma’s Park Jin-Po for an own goal.
72 Mins: Seongnam Ilhwa Chunma 1 Nagoya Grampus 1
74 Mins: A goal which on the balance of play is undeserved, but with the discrepancy in goal difference between the two teams, Grampus still need to find another goal and win this contest outright if they want to win Group G.
76 Mins:Keiji Yoshimura now on for Naoshi Nakamura.
78 Mins: Seongnam’s star forward Everton Santos has come on for Lee Chang-Hoon.
80 Mins: Fujimoto holds the ball up superbly on the Grampus right, and sends Ogawa free. Ogawa’s first touch is much too strong, however, and it runs for a goal-kick.
82 Mins: Kensuke Nagai gathers a throughball and Jung San rushes off his line, bringing the forward down outside the penalty area. San escapes being sent off, Albadwawi brandishing a yellow card instead, and with two covering defenders it may just have been the correct decision.
83 Mins: Keiji Tamada takes responsibility for the free-kick this time, but it’s off the top of the wall for a corner.
84 Mins: Tulio Tanaka is penalised for a push in the penalty area, and Seongnam clear the ball downfield. Yuki Maki then picks up a caution for a high challenge.
86 Mins: A further change for Chunma, as the impressive Yoon Bit-Garam makes way.
88 Mins: Left-winger Hong Chul is booked for a cynical trip on Danilson.
89 Mins: Grampus are finishing this match more strongly. The free-kick is delivered to the back post, Danilson heading on to Tulio, who lays off to Fujimoto. His cross is diverted behind for a corner.
89 Mins: Daniel misses a great chance to win this match for Grampus. Seongnam are unable to deal with the the set piece, and it drops to the defender eight yards from goal. He volleys over the crossbar and Dragan Stojković pounds the ground in frustration.
90 Mins: Three minutes of added time to play.
91 Mins: Nagai this time has the opportunity to give Grampus the three points. He speeds past Kim Seong-Jun on the right-wing, and driving into the penalty area, he clips the ball over Jung San but the wrong side of the Sun’s left post.
92 Mins: Nagai then nearly turns provider, a weaving run on the left followed by a pull back which is just behind Tulio and he can’t crane his neck back far enough to niod towards goal.
93 Mins: A third attack for Grampus and another simple opportunity goes begging. Nagai wastes a free header after a cross from Fujimoto, which he can only direct at Jung San with most of the goal at his mercy.
93 Mins: Albadwawi stops a Grampus attack in its tracks as the final whistle blows.
FT: Seongnam Ilhwa Chunma 1 Nagoya Grampus 1
FT: Nagoya Grampus nearly stole a victory from a match in which they had largely been second best. Three simple opportunities to take all three points were wasted, and with it the chance to top Group G is almost certainly lost based on the respective goal difference of the two teams. Further complicating matters is the 5-1 victory for Central Coast Mariners against Tianjin Teda, and Grampus must avoid defeat at the Mizuho Athletic Stadium n 15 May by the New South Wales outfit to proceed to the next round.
FT: Thank you for joining me. A full match report will follow later today.