Football: Maradona-style handball as Shandong crash in AFC Championship

China's Shandong Luneng FC players celebrate after scoring a goal against South Korea's Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors during their AFC Champions League group E first round match at the Jinan Olympic Sports Centre in Jinan, northeast China's Shandong provinc
China's Shandong Luneng FC players celebrate after scoring a goal against South Korea's Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors during their AFC Champions League group E first round match at the Jinan Olympic Sports Centre in Jinan, northeast China's Shandong province on Tuesda. -- PHOTO: AFP

DOHA (AFP) - Yang Xu scored but then saw red for a Diego Maradona-style handball as Shandong Luneng were thrashed 4-1 by Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors in the AFC Champions League on Tuesday.

Yang scored his third goal in just two games for Shandong but the striker turned villain when unlike the Argentinian great in 1986, with his 'hand of God' goal, he was sent off for trying to score with his hand.

The Chinese FA Cup-holders were struggling at 3-1 down with 11 minutes to go when the leaping Yang lifted his hand to a hanging free-kick and parried it against the post.

Yang's second yellow card, just a week after his double strike earned a 3-2 victory over Binh Duong, carried echoes of Maradona's controversial first goal in Argentina's 2-1 World Cup quarter-final win against England.

However, Maradona's cheating was only fully exposed after the game although England defenders close to the action knew instantly he had punched the ball.

Brazilian midfielder Leonardo rounded off the scoring in injury time as 2006 champions Jeonbuk celebrated their first win in Group E.

It was a moment of quality from Jeonbuk's Brazilian maestro Edu which opened the scoring when he shaped to hit a powerful shot but then checked and chipped superbly over goalkeeper Wang Dalei.

After the break, defender Dai Lin was lucky only to earn a yellow card when he appeared to punch Choi Chul-Soon during a tangle near the halfway line.

Yang put the hosts level on 61 minutes.

Zhang Wenzhao surged into the box, drawing two defenders before he poked the ball back to the on-rushing forward, who smashed in the equaliser off the right-hand post.

But Shandong's joy lasted just 10 minutes before Han Kyo-Won squirmed his shot past Wang for a 2-1 lead, silencing the noisy Jinan crowd.

The flamboyant Wang was at fault for Jeonbuk's third on 75 minutes when his punched clearance fell straight to Lee in the box and the midfielder cracked it home first-time.

Shandong's game was effectively over after Yang's handball, but Leonardo had time to rub salt into the wound when he netted Jeonbuk's fourth in injury time.

Elsewhere in Group E, Japan's Kashiwa Reysol hammered Binh Duong 5-1 to join Jeonbuk at the top on four points after two games played.

In Group F, Seongnam FC beat Gamba Osaka 2-0 to hand the Japanese treble-winners their second straight defeat, while Thailand's Buriram United shocked Guangzhou R&F 2-1.

Meanwhile, a first half penalty scored by skipper Mohamed Noori helped Iran's Persepolis clinch a tight 1-0 win over Uzbek side Bunyodkor in Tashkent, a result that helped them stay atop Group A.

Noori slotted home from the spot after forward Mehdi Taremi was fouled in the 20th minute as Persepolis won their second match on the trot following their 3-0 drubbing of Qatar champions Lekhwiya last week.

In Doha, Lekhwiya were lucky to escape with a point against Saudi champions Al Nassr despite conceding an own goal and also missing a penalty.

In a pulsating match that saw both sides miss a plethora of chances, Al Nassr went ahead in the 47th minute through an own goal when Mahmood Moosa's mistimed clearance from inside the penalty area hit the back of the net, catching goalkeeper Amine Lecomte by surprise.

But Al Nassr's joy was short-lived as Vladmir Weiss was left unmarked and the Slovakian scored from close range with a precise shot five minutes later.

Weiss, however, missed a golden opportunity to help his team consolidate as Al Nassr goalkeeper Abdulla al-Enazi brought off a splendid save after Lekhwiya were awarded a penalty.

Al Nassr also missed a penalty later as the teams shared the points.

In Teheran, Al Ain drew their second successive match, this time a 1-1 draw with Naft Teheran.

Substitute Siamak Kooroshi put the Iranians ahead in the 49th minute, while last year's highest scorer Asamoah Gyan equalised 10 minutes later.