Luiz Felipe Scolari's first game in the Asian Champions League is one that the 2002 World Cup winner will not forget in a hurry as his Bunyodkor team beat Pohang Steelers 3-1 in the first leg of the quarter-finals. It was a game that had everything - great goals, a comeback, a red card as well as late efforts scored and disallowed. The action moves from Uzbekistan to South Korea on Wednesday and the intimate Steelyard promises to be a sell-out. Pohang can feel a little hard done by. At 1-1, midway through the second half, there was nothing to choose between the two teams.
Then, Pohang's commanding defender Kim Hyung-il was mysteriously shown a second yellow card and the 2008 Asian Player of the Year Server Djeparov, scored two late goals to give the wealthy Tashkent team a healthy advantage ahead of the second leg. The Pohang coach Sergio Farias was seething after the match, largely because his team had a goal disallowed in the last second of stoppage time. "With a referee like we had today, it was impossible for us to win," the Brazilian declared.
"With a referee who watches the game correctly, we could have won. I don't understand it. I have no idea why Kim Hyung-il was sent off." Farias also claimed that a laser beam from the crowd had been shining in the faces of his players. It all added to an interesting induction into Asian football for Scolari, who guided Brazil to 2002 World Cup glory. He said: "We both played beautiful football. It will be a different game in Pohang and we need to score."
In yesterday's game, Saudi Arabia's last hope in the competition, Al Ittihad, came from behind to draw 1-1 away to Uzbeks Pakhtakor. email@example.com