China's Shanghai Shenhua edged Japan's JubiloIwata 3-2 at Shanghai's Hongkou Stadium on Thursday, clinching their first victory in four matches of the Asian Champions League.
Shenhua came out roaring from the start as two goals in six minutes handed the home side a 2-0 lead. But the strong Iwata did not give up and leveled the score before the halftime thanks to the goals from Masashi Nakayama and Norihiro Nishi.
Forward Saul Martinez made the messianic goal in the 81st minute to seal the 3-2 victory for Shenhua, who lost the opening three matches with a desperate want for a win.
In the fifth minute Li Chengming headed home through a free-kick by midfielder Joerg Albertz and just one minute later Wang Kewas put through by his teammate Martinez and stroked the ball left-footed to the net.
Nakayama crushed Shenhua's flare-up by a powerful shot to reduce the deficit to a 2-1 in the 10th minute and Norihiro Nishi's last minute shot in the first half leveled the score for the visitors.
Wang and Martinez combined to put the home side back in front once more as the pair played a two-one tact and veteran Martinez drove into the area rolling the ball into the far corner of the net, making it 3-2.
"It's a real victory for Shenhua, " said Shenhua's head coach Howard Wilkinson. "But our players are young and less experienced that they should manage a better control as they lead it 2-0."
"They have to learn it from the match," added Wilkinson