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HONG KONG, Feb 23, (AFP): Megabucks Chinese side Jiangsu Suning were expensive flops in their AFC Champions League opener when their newly assembled, star-studded line-up was held by 1-1 by 10-man Vietnamese outfit Binh Duong on Tuesday.
Brazilians Ramires and Alex Teixeira, who consecutively smashed the Chinese transfer record this month, and ex-Manchester City striker Jo all failed to find the net in an inauspicious competitive debut.
Dan Petrescu’s new-look team benefited from Christian Amougou’s dismissal in the 67th minute for diving, his second bookable offence, but still failed to break the defiant home side.
Elsewhere on the first night of competition China’s Shandong Luneng, led by ex-Brazil coach Mano Menezes, beat Sanfrecce Hiroshima 2-1 away and FC Seoul thumped Thailand’s Buriram United 6-0.
In Vietnam’s Thu Dau Mot city, Jiangu’s night started encouragingly when Xiang Ji put them 1-0 up on 13 minutes, only for Anh Duc to level from the penalty spot near the half-hour.
After half-time Teixeira, a 50 million euros signing from Shakhtar Donetsk, showed his trickery and vision as he set up Zhang Xinlin and Jo for gilt-edged chances which were both smothered by goalkeeper Bui Tan Truong.
Ex-Chelsea midfielder Ramires also swept a long-range free kick wide in what was a frustrating night for Petrescu, another former player for the London club.
While Jiangsu’s Brazilians left their scoring boots at home, their compatriot Adriano hammered four past Buriram United as FC Seoul began their campaign in emphatic style.
Adriano’s quadruple either side of half-time left him alone on the scoresheet until Dejan Damjanovic and Lee Seok-Hyun weighed in to complete the rout in Buriram.
Meanwhile evergreen South Korean striker Lee Dong-Gook got the vital second goal for Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors as the 2006 winners started with a 2-1 victory over FC Tokyo.