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Soccer: Kashima take ACL quarterfinal 1st leg 2-0 over Tianjin

Kashima Antlers players celebrate after beating Tianjin Quanjian FC in an Asian Champions League quarterfinal at Kashima Stadium in Japan on Aug. 28, 2018. (Kyodo)

KASHIMA, Japan (Kyodo) -- Kashima Antlers got their Asian Champions League quarterfinal off to a positive start Tuesday with a 2-0 win in the first leg over Chinese team Tianjin Quanjian FC.

Antlers, unbeaten in their last three matches and sitting seventh in the J-League standings, rode second-half goals from Brazilians Leo Silva and Serginho to the win at Kashima Stadium, the team's fourth in their run to the ACL quarters.

"We had plenty of chances so it would have been great to score a little more, or at least that's what one hopes for," Antlers head coach Go Oiwa said. "But most important, we didn't surrender any away goals, and for that reason I give us good marks."

Kashima dominated possession, more than doubling Tianjin's number of passes and shots, with seven of 21 on target.

Silva opened the scoring with a 60th-minute strike from a central position in the box, Yasushi Endo having picked him out with a header after Shuto Yamamoto dispossessed Kwon Kyung Won and crossed to Endo on the edge of the area.

The second came 12 minutes later when Serginho let rip from distance, firing past Tianjin goalkeeper Zhang Lu into the bottom left corner of the net.

The teams meet in Tianjin for the second leg on Sept. 18, with Antlers looking to reach the ACL semifinals for the first time. The team's ACL quarterfinal run in 2018 is their second, their only other appearance in the final eight coming in 2008.

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