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Soccer ACL: Vissel fall to Guangzhou Evergrande in 1st group-stage loss

Andres Iniesta of Vissel Kobe in Al Wakrah, Qatar, on Nov. 28, 2020. (Kyodo)

TOKYO (Kyodo) -- J-League side Vissel Kobe fell 2-0 to China's Guangzhou Evergrande on Saturday in Asian Champions League Group G.

    The loss at Qatar's Al Janoub Stadium was the first in the three-team group for Japan's Emperors Cup champions, who entered the game having already booked their spot in the knockout round and began the game with reserves in the starting lineup.

    The Chinese Super League squad opened the scoring in the 17th minute. Anderson Talisca sent Vissel keeper Hiroki Iikura the wrong way from the spot after he had been fouled in the area.

    In the 36th minute, Iikura was victimized by a dynamite free kick from Ai Kesen into the top-right corner.

    "Those first-half goals wasted a good effort," Vissel manager Atsuhiro Miura said. "To a certain extent we predicted how they were going to attack us, and based on that we had a lot of good moments."

    From the hour mark, Miura summoned his reserves, bringing on Spanish superstar Andres Iniesta, Kyogo Furuhashi and Brazilian marksman Douglas to no avail.

    Last year's J-League champions, Yokohama F Marinos played later at the same venue in their Group H game against another Chinese side, Shanghai SIPG. Marinos entered with nine points from their first three games.

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