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  Tumbakovic unsatisfied despite great victory  

  

 


China's Shandong Luneng players celebrate a goal against Vietnam's Dong Tam Long An during their AFC Champions League game in Jinan, east China's Shandong Province April 11. Shandong trounced Long An 4-0 in its third winning streak, topping the Group G with 9 points.[Newsphoto]

Shandong Luneng's coach Ljubisa Tumbakovic was less than satisfied with his team's performance despite trouncing Vietnam's Dong Tam Long An 4-0 during their AFC Champions League game in Jinan, East China's Shandong Province on Wednesday evening.

"The players didn't play at their normal level, and they didn't stick to my strategy," Tumbakovic said. "I asked them to control the ball and put constant pressure on the opponent but obviously they didn't do that well."

"If we play against the two stronger teams in the group in the same manner, we will pay the price for that," he added.

Shandong Luneng, last year's Chinese league and FA cup winners, have made three straight wins with nine points to lead Group G at the AFC Champions League, while their two biggest rivals Adelaide United and Seongnam Chunma followed with four, four respectively after a 2-2 draw in Australia on the same day.

Tumbakovic continued to serve a six-game off-pitch ban on Wednesday while his Chinese assistant Ma Baogang directed the game.

"I think three points are much more important than a goal feast," said Ma after the match, "Long An is a well-orgainzed team and the No. 1 in their country, and we knew it wouldn't be an easy ride."

"The players controlled the ball more and ran more in the second half after being told to play more aggressively," Ma added, "They lived up to coaches' and fans' expectations after the interval."

 


Shangdong Luneng's striker Li Jinyu scores with a good header against Vietnam's Dong Tam Long An during their AFC Champions League game in Jinan, east China's Shandong Province April 11. Shandong trounced Long An 4-0 in its third winning streak, topping the Group G with 9 points. [Xinhua]
Shandong's Han Peng scored in the 42 and 54th minutes before Wang Yongpo made it 3-0 in the 56th minute and Li Jinyu sealed the win 20 minutes later for Shandong. Long An advoided losing more thanks to several beautiful saves from their brazilian goalie.

Li Jinyu, top shooter of last season's China Super League, who was obsessed with goal drought in recent national team and international games, proving himself again with scoring one and setting up two for his teammates.

"We did't play very well in the first half," Li said after the game. "We realized that we should work harder in the second one.

"Our prospects of qualifying from the group are bright. But we must do better in the coming matches. Our performances in the league are important to Shandong soccer, and are more significant to China football." Li added.

Henrique Calista, Long An's Portugal coach, admitted he was not surprised by the result.

"In the first half we did well to stop Luneng's attack, but they scored too quickly in the second half. We had to counterback and that gave them more chances," said Calisto.

"Shandong is a very strong team, i think they are more powerful than South Korea champion Seongnam Chunma." he added.

China's Shanghai Shenhua on the verge of elimination from this year's AFC Champions League was frustrated by group leader Urawa Reds 0-1 in Japan Wednesday, staying at the bottam of the table with zero point.

But Shenhua's coach Osvaldo Gimenez does not believe there is much between the teams in Group E despite the three-game losing stream at the ACL.

 

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