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Suwon loses in brawl-marred match

K-League side Suwon Bluewings lost 2-0 to Qatar’s Al Sadd Wednesday in the first leg of AFC Champions League semifinal.

After a goalless first half, Al Sadd’s striker Mamadou Niang broke the deadlock in the 70th minute. And 10 minutes later the former Marseille striker sealed the triumph with his second goal.

The controversy surrounding the second goal sparked a fracas. Coaching staff and players from both sides fought on the pitch at Suwon World Cup Stadium.

The match was held up for more than 10 minutes as players could be seen punching and kicking each other, while some ran away.

The home fans also showed their frustration by throwing objects onto the field during the scuffle. One supporter ran on to the pitch, joining the melee. 
Suwon and Al Sadd players and coaches fight at Suwon World Cup Stadium. (Yonhap News)
Suwon and Al Sadd players and coaches fight at Suwon World Cup Stadium. (Yonhap News)

At the 81st minute, Suwon’s Yeom Ki-hoon let the ball out after Choi Sung-hwan went down with a head injury inside Al Sadd’s box. And while Suwon players stood watching, expecting to have possession returned, Kader Keita passed the ball forward to an unmarked Niang, who rounded the keeper before putting the ball into the empty net. After the incidents, the referee sent off both Suwon’s Stevica Ristic and Al Sadd’s Keita. Niang was also sent off shortly after receiving his second yellow card.

But more heavy sanctions by the Asian Football Confederation are expected for both teams before they meet again next Wednesday in their second leg in Doha.

“We now face a difficult task for the second leg but we will prepare as well as we can and do our best,” Suwon manager Yoon Sung-hyo said after the game.

Meanwhile, in other semifinal match, K-League leaders Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors came from behind to beat Saudi giants Al Ittihad 3-2 in Jeddah. Jeonbuk and Suwon are gunning to set up the first all-Korean final since 1997.

By Oh Kyu-wook (