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Daegu FC eliminated in round of 16 at AFC Champions League

Sept. 14, 2021 - 20:31 By Yonhap
Daegu FC players celebrate a goal from Cesiniha in the match against Nagoya Grampus at Toyota Stadium in Japan on Tuesday. (Yonhap)
Daegu FC crashed out of Asia's top club football competition on Tuesday, as their first trip to the knockout stage lasted just one match.

Daegu fell to Nagoya Grampus 4-2 at Toyota Stadium in Toyota, Japan, in the round of 16 at the Asian Football Confederation Champions League.

Jakub Swierczok scored a hat trick for the winning side, with Shinnosuke Nakatani scoring the other goal for the Japanese club.

For Daegu FC, Cesinha and Edgar had a goal apiece.

This was Daegu's first appearance in the knockout phase at the annual tournament.

They were one of four K League 1 clubs to make it to the final 16 at this year's competition.

Cesinha opened the scoring in the fourth minute, converting a pass from Jeong Seung-won to give Daegu an early lead.

But eight minutes later, Swierczok leveled the score for Nagoya, set up by Naoki Maeda.

Edgar's header restored a one-goal lead for Daegu in the 28th minute but the South Korean club never led again.

And the injury bug bit Daegu hard. Center back Jeong Tae-wook was stretchered off the field with a right ankle injury in the 33rd minute. Then a dozen minutes into the second half, midfielder Lee Yong-rae had to leave the game with a leg injury.

Swierczok netted the equalizer in the 63rd minute, and then gave Nagoya a lead for good two minutes later with his third goal of the evening.

Nakatani rounded out the scoring for Nagoya in the 79th minute.

All knockout matches, including the final, will be one-and-done affairs, a change implemented to minimize travel amid the coronavirus pandemic. Group matches were contested in centralized venues for the same reason.

K League clubs and others from countries, such as Japan, Thailand and China, are part of the East Region. The West Region features clubs from Iran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Uzbekistan, among others.

The two regions will be on the opposite sides of the bracket through the semifinals. (Yonhap)