TOKYO (AFP) - Kawasaki Frontale battled back from a goal down to beat fellow J-League side Nagoya Grampus 2-1 in the first leg of the AFC Champions League quarter-finals here on Wednesday.
Lanky Australian striker Joshua Kennedy headed home in the 27th minute for Nagoya but Japan midfielder Kengo Nakamura pulled one back for Kawasaki on the hour mark and Brazilian striker Juninho put them ahead three minutes later.
Kawasaki, who have not lost to Nagoya in their recent nine encounters, go to Nagoya in the return leg on September 30 to vie for a semi-final berth in the top Asian club competition.
"We had a few chances but could not put them away in the first half," Kawasaki coach Takashi Sekizuka said.
"Kengo's goal shook the kinks out of our play and helped us regain our usual rhythm."
But he cautioned: "We are only halfway through."
Nagoya's Serbian coach Dragan Stojkovic predicted an exciting return leg.
"We must play hard and aggressively against the fast-moving Kawasaki players," he said. "I really think it will be as interesting as today's match."
Kawasaki beat 2008 champions and fellow J-League side Gamba Osaka to reach the quarter-finals. In the 2007 quarter-finals they lost to Iran's Sepahan after a penalty shoot-out.
In other quarter-final matches later Wednesday, Umm Salal of Qatar beat South Korea's FC Seoul 3-2 and Uzbek side Bunyodkor defeated another South Korean club, Pohang Steelers, 3-1.
Bunyodkor, now managed by former Brazil and Chelsea coach Luiz Felipe Scolari, fell behind due to No Byung-jun's eighth minute opener.
But Scolari then watched as reigning AFC Player of the Year Server Djeparov turned in two Jasur Hasanov crosses inside the final 11 minutes at JAR Stadium after Victor Karpenko had pulled the home side level before half-time.
Scolari's side were helped when Pohang lost defender Kim Hyung-il to a red card just after the hour mark.
The Brazil 2002 World Cup winning boss said: "It was a very important game to win.
"There were moments in the match when they the better side and sometimes when Bunyodkor were the better side, we both played beautiful football.
"We now hope that we will go through but the result is not 3-1, the result will not be decided until the last minute in Pohang. I said before the game we would change our history but this is only the first game - it will change after the second game. It will be a different game in Pohang and we need to score in Korea."
Uzbekistan's Pakhtakor battle Al Ittihad of Saudi Arabia on Thursday for the right to play Kawasaki or Nagoya in the semis in October.
The imposing Kennedy, who joined Nagoya from Germany's Karlsruher in June, scored off a cross from Naoshi Nakamura infront of watching Australian national team coach Pim Verbeek.
Kawasaki charged back but squandered a few chances to equalise, much to the disappointment of most the 18,000 spectators at the National Stadium.
Juninho had two attempts saved by Nagoya goalkeeper Koichi Hirono.
North Korean striker Chong Tese, who shot the isolated communist state to their first World Cup finals since 1966, then headed a Kengo Nakamura corner onto the bar on the stroke of half-time.
The home side finally found the net as Kengo Nakamura curled in a low-flying free-kick. Juninho scored the winner by slotting home a rebound from a header by midfielder Hiroyuki Taniguchi.
|J.League Preview: Hiroshima can still defend title|
|Blanc hails Evian´s ´heart´ after shock PSG loss|
|Copa Sudamericana: Ponte Preta 1 Lanus 1|
|Pruis denies safety concerns for Brazil 2014|
|World Cup stadiums will be ready - Brazil´s sports minister|
|West Brom spirit pleases Clarke|
|Pellegrini enjoys away tonic|
|Coppa Italia Wrap: Inter survive scare to advance|
|Ligue 1 Wrap: PSG suffer shock loss, Landreau makes history|
|Mackay hails ´brave´ Cardiff point|
|Laudrup delighted with Shelvey flexibility|
|Seedorf tips Brazil to win World Cup|
|Eredivisie Wrap: Heerenveen, Go Ahead leave it late|
|Hughton salutes Suarez, slams Norwich defending|
|Rodgers hails ´incredible´ Suarez after four-goal salvo|
|No excuses from frustrated Moyes|
|Pardew has ref rage over Webb after Swansea loss|
|Football League Wrap: Derby go fourth, Wigan lose again|
|Meulensteen bullish after Spurs defeat|
|Poyet: Chelsea will win the title|
|Pochettino bemoans defensive display|
|Lambert hails quality finishing|
|Forest reveal alleged Chalobah abuse|
|Hughes: Stoke need to sharpen up|
|DFB Pokal Wrap: Bayern, Bayer both progress to the quarter-finals|
|Villas-Boas delighted to end winless run|
|Bruce happy to avoid ´embarrassing´ Arsenal loss|
|Martinez proud as Everton end hoodoo|
|Wenger hails Bendtner quality|
|Mourinho marvels at Hazard showing|
|Eredivisie Preview: Vitesse, Ajax look to extend unbeaten runs|
|Premier League: West Brom 2 Manchester City 3|
|Ligue 1: Evian 2 Paris Saint-Germain 0|
|Premier League: Fulham 1 Tottenham 2|
|Premier League: Manchester United 0 Everton 1|
|Premier League: Southampton 2 Aston Villa 3|
|Premier League: Swansea City 3 Newcastle United 0|
|Premier League: Liverpool 5 Norwich City 1|
|Premier League: Stoke City 0 Cardiff City 0|
|Premier League: Sunderland 3 Chelsea 4|
|Rakitic wary of Sevilla away-day slump|
|Garcia hails Totti as ´one of the best´|
|Reina would welcome Barcelona return|
|Garde calls for Lyon to become more mature|
|Pique rejects crisis talk|
|Kramer keen for Monchengladbach to maintain focus|
|Ince blasts ill-disciplined Blackpool|
|Delph loving life under Lambert|
|Courtois seeks Chelsea talks over future|
|Valbuena out for up to six weeks|
|Iraola signs new Athletic deal|
|Berbatov keen on Fulham exit|
|Borini up for Chelsea test|
|Rodgers asks Spanish pair to lift Liverpool|
|Inverness appoint Hughes|
|Jaaskelainen annoyed with Palace loss|
|Klopp hails Dortmund display|
|Pulis tips Chamakh to shine|
|Walker fired up for Fulham trip|
|Enyeama lauds collective Lille effort|
|Copa del Rey Preview: Atletico open against Sant Andreu, Barcelona face Cartagena|
|Serie A Preview: Bologna v Juventus|
|Di Natale needs more help, says Guidolin|
|Prandelli: Totti retirement backflip possible|
|Points all that matter, says Lille president Seydoux|
|Ranieri harbours no hopes of Monaco catching PSG|
|Liga MX Preview: Herrera´s America out to break winless run in semi-finals|
|West Ham ´hard done by´ after goal disallowed|
|´Brazuca´ revealed as the official World Cup ball|
|Garde puts heat on Lyon to respond to PSG pummelling|
|Blatter backs Brazil to be ready|
|Stranded Belounis furious with FIFA inaction|
|Championship Wrap: Wednesday stun Leicester as Yeovil, Barnsley also win|
|A-League Preview: Styles collide as Adelaide host Brisbane|
|Pulis expects further Palace improvement|
|Coppa Italia Wrap: Bologna fall to Siena, Parma ease past Varese|
|Allardyce bemoans wasteful West Ham|
|Ligue 1 Wrap: Lille, Monaco keep in touch with PSG|
|DFB-Pokal Wrap: Hoffenheim oust Schalke, Dortmund safely through|
|Premier League: Crystal Palace 1 West Ham 0|
|Mourinho dismisses Lukaku comments|
|Juninho retains Premier League affection|
|John signs new Cardiff deal|
|Juventus fined after schoolchildren insult Udinese goalkeeper|
|Bruce seeks truce on name change row|
|Mulumbu denies wanting to leave West Brom|
|FIFA World Cup draw pots announced|
|Hughes targets strong Stoke run|
|Blanc wants motivated PSG|
|Iniesta: Barca need to improve|
|Kompany set for Manchester City return|
|Van Persie set to feature against Everton|
|Chelsea set to welcome Eto´o back|
|Neville expects Fellaini to thrive at United|
|Agbonlahor backs misfiring Benteke to come good|
|Vidal signs new Juve deal|
|Lille appeal for calm after Thauvin airport altercation|
|Mackay confident Cardiff can compete|
|Napoli need to grow, says Higuain|
|Martinez convinced Pienaar is back to his best|
|Boruc out for ´some weeks´, reveals Pochettino|
|Cotterill takes charges at Ashton Gate|
|Petkovic: Mistakes cost us against Napoli|
|Lewandowski hopeful of Bayern slip-up|
|Wenger dismisses title talk|
|Crawley announce Gregory as new manager|
|Wenger denies move for Morata|
|Denswil in line for new Ajax contract|
|Ivanovic: This is Chelsea´s best chance to win the league|
|Le Tallec out for six weeks|
|Soldado hungry for goals|
|Mexico confirm Herrera as World Cup coach|
|Pellegrini not interested in selling Dzeko|
|Rodgers rules out January spending spree|
|Dembele, Sandro defend Villas-Boas|
|Betis announce Garrido to replace Mel|
|Benitez slams Stadio Olimpico pitch|
|Liga del Futbol Profesional Boliviano Wrap: The Strongest edge out Guabira|
|Baup: Lille not good enough to challenge PSG|
|Baresi, Capello headline new Italian Hall of Fame inductees|
|Girard labels Lille-Marseille ´one of the games of the year´|
|Hodgson concerned about venues in World Cup draw|
|Klopp set to name strongest team possible|
|Keller demands defensive improvement from Schalke|
|Paraguay Division Profesional Wrap: Champions remain unbeaten|