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Ulsan beats Al Hilal 1-0 in ACL quarterfinals

Associated Press Modified: September 19, 2012 at 4:03 pm •  Published: September 19, 2012

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — South Korean club Ulsan Hyundai defeated Saudi Arabian visitor Al Hilal 1-0 in the first leg of the Asian Champions League quarterfinals, while Saudi club Al Ittihad twice came from behind to beat Guangzhou Evergrande of China 4-2 Wednesday with Naif Hazazi scoring twice.

Uzbek team Bunyodkor came from two goals down to draw 2-2 with 10-man Adelaide of Australia and Saudi club Al Ahli earned a hard-fought 0-0 draw at Sepahan of Iran.

Ulsan's Brazilian striker, Omid Ebrahimi, scored at Ulsan World Cup Stadium in the ninth minute with a low shot from just inside the area that took a deflection off a defender to spin past wrong-footed goalkeeper Abuallah Alsudairi.

The K-League team, which has never progressed past the semifinals, could have won by a greater margin, although the Saudi Arabian side threatened late in the game.

"Al Hilal did not show its best but will be strong at home," Ulsan coach Kim Ho-gon said. "The away game will be tough but we can win away, too."

Al Hilal rarely threatened Ulsan's goal, but substitute Salman Al Faraj forced a good save from goalkeeper Kim Young-kwang in injury time when through on goal.

"I am not satisfied with the performance," said Al Hilal's French coach, Antoine Kombouare. "It was disappointing that we could not score the equalizer in the second half. As an away game, however, to lose 1-0 is not a bad result. We will prepare as well as we can for the next game."

Former World Cup-winning coach Marcello Lippi's first big test since taking control of Guangzhou ended in a resounding defeat.

Gao Lin put Guangzou in front in the 27th minute, only for Al Ittihad's Diego Souza to equalize a minute later. Huang Bowen ensured the Chinese side would go into halftime with the lead when he scored in the 38th.

Al Ittihad's Mohammed Noor leveled for the Saudi side from the penalty spot in the 48th after Hazazi earned a disputed penalty. Hazazi then put the match out of reach when he outjumped the Guangzhou defense to score in the 62nd and added a second in the 89th. Al Ittihad is looking for third title after winning the continental competition in 2004 and 2005.

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