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Football: Late Jeonbuk equaliser foils Reds' revenge bid

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

Seo Sang-Min fired an injury-time equaliser Tuesday as Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors foiled a revenge mission by old rivals Urawa Red Diamonds and boosted their chances of reaching the AFC Champions League last 16.

Seo's strike, in the second minute of added time, levelled the scores at 2-2 in Jeonju and completed Jeonbuk's comeback from two goals down at half-time, a week after they scored three in the second half to beat Urawa 3-1.

Elsewhere, Japan's Kashiwa Reysol dropped their first points in a 0-0 draw with Suwon Bluewings. The Group H leaders will still become the first team to reach the knock-out phase if Guizhou Renhe fail to beat Central Coast Mariners later.

Urawa and Jeonbuk are stalwarts of the pan-Asian competition and their previous meeting before last week was in the 2007 quarter-finals, when the Japanese beat the defending champions en route to writing their own name on the trophy.

On Tuesday, Urawa got off to a dream start when Daisuke Nasu powered home a header after just three minutes, and it got even better four minutes later when Tsukasa Umesaki lashed home a rebound to put the visitors 2-0 up.

Jeonbuk gathered their composure and imposed themselves when Park Won-Jae's header was tipped over by Urawa's Nobuhiro Kato, and Brazilian midfielder Eninho went close with a long-range free-kick.

At the other end, Japan international Yuki Abe should have put the game further out of reach but he fired his close-range snap-shot straight at Jeonbuk goalkeeper Kwoun Sun-Tae.

Jeonbuk hit the woodwork just before half-time. But they had a big slice of luck six minutes after the break when Eninho, prodding a rebounding corner back into the box, saw his speculative ball sail over the 'keeper and into the goal.

The Brazilian nearly surprised Urawa 'keeper Kato again from a free-kick, and he was just inches from the equaliser from another dead-ball situation when his attempt from a central position hit the outside of the post.

Defender Jung In-Whan had a header cleared off the line as Jeonbuk pressed, while Urawa's Shinzo Koroki skewed a golden chance wide and Abe nearly toe-poked the visitors' third with nine minutes to go.

But in the dying seconds, former Middlesbrough striker Lee Dong-Gook laid off a knock-down in the box for Seo, who side-footed the equaliser which kept Jeonbuk second in Group F behind China's Guangzhou Evergrande.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130409/football-late-jeonbuk-equaliser-foils-reds-revenge-bid