Soccer-The week in Asian football
Talking points from the week in Asian football: KOBE CLINCH FIRST JAPAN TITLE WITH VICTORY OVER NAGOYA Vissel Kobe won the Japanese league title for the first time on Saturday after a 2-1 victory over Nagoya Grampus. With one game remaining in the season, the win at Kobe Stadium moved Vissel four points clear of last year's champions Yokohama F Marinos, who were held 0-0 by Albirex Niigata on Friday.
Talking points from the week in Asian football:
KOBE CLINCH FIRST JAPAN TITLE WITH VICTORY OVER NAGOYA Vissel Kobe won the Japanese league title for the first time on Saturday after a 2-1 victory over Nagoya Grampus.
With one game remaining in the season, the win at Kobe Stadium moved Vissel four points clear of last year's champions Yokohama F Marinos, who were held 0-0 by Albirex Niigata on Friday. Haruya Ide and Yoshinori Muto struck in the 12th and 14th minutes to give Kobe a two-goal lead before Kasper Junker pulled one back for Nagoya just after the half-hour mark.
YU ON TARGET AS SHANGHAI SHENHUA END SHANDONG'S FA CUP RUN Shanghai Shenhua ended Shandong Taishan's run of Chinese FA Cup triumphs on Saturday when Yu Hanchao's 63rd minute goal gave them a 1-0 victory in this year's final.
Shandong were appearing in their sixth straight final and had won the last three. It was Shenhua's first FA Cup win since 2019 and earns the club a place in the 2024-25 edition of the AFC Champions League Elite.
RONALDO DOUBLE KEEPS AL-NASSR IN TOUCH WITH AL-HILAL Cristiano Ronaldo scored with an outrageous lob from 35 yards to put the seal on Al-Nassr's 3-0 win over Al Akhdoud on Friday as his side kept in touch with Saudi Pro League leaders Al-Hilal.
Al-Nassr took the lead through Sami Al Naji before Ronaldo doubled his side's advantage with 13 minutes remaining. He then lobbed the advanced Paulo Vitor to score into an open net three minutes later. Unbeaten Al-Hilal maintained their four-point lead over Al-Nassr with a 9-0 demolition of bottom side Al Hazm, with Malcom scoring a hat-trick.
WANDERERS WIN SYDNEY DERBY CLASH TO STAY TOP IN AUSTRALIA Zac Sapsford scored the only goal of the game as Western Sydney Wanderers remained on top of the A-League with a 1-0 win over Sydney FC on Saturday.
Sapsford struck with 18 minutes remaining as Wanderers moved onto 11 points from their first five games, ahead of Wellington Phoenix on goal difference. New Zealand-based Phoenix also picked up their third win of the season when Bozhidar Kraev's goal gave them a 1-0 win against Melbourne City in Auckland.
SON DOUBLE LEADS SOUTH KOREA TO WORLD CUP QUALIFYING WIN South Korea's Son Heung-min scored twice and set up the third in a 3-0 win over China as Asia's top sides claimed victories in the second round of qualifying for the 2026 World Cup on Tuesday.
Son put the Koreans in front with an 11th minute penalty before heading in the second in the 45th minute. The Tottenham Hotspur forward set up Jung Seung-hyun for the third. Japan, Australia, Qatar, United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia all won, while Kuwait and North Korea scored a flurry of goals en route to victories.
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