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Holders Kashima earn Champions League draw at Cannavaro’s Guangzhou

Shanghai, China: Holders Kashima Antlers earned a 0-0 draw at two-time winners Guangzhou Evergrande in their AFC Champions League quarter-final first leg on Wednesday.

It leaves the J-League side with a small advantage going into the return fixture on September 18 and was a successive stalemate between Japanese and Chinese teams after Urawa Reds drew at Shanghai SIPG on Tuesday.

In a game of few chances, the Brazilian-born striker Elkeson — who is poised to make his debut for China after switching nationalities — fluffed a presentable opportunity midway through the second half to give Fabio Cannavaro's Chinese Super League side the lead.

Anderson Talisca, the Brazilian attacking midfielder, crossed and the ball deflected to Elkeson, but the 30-year-old failed to make much contact and the chance was swallowed up.

Shoma Doi, Ryohei Shirasaki and Ayase Ueda all had chances for the visitors in the second half at a packed Tianhe Stadium, but Cannavaro's men held firm.

As 90 minutes approached Kashima looked the more likely to break the deadlock and Shirasaki rattled the crossbar from distance. 

Brazilian international Paulinho then had a golden opportunity at the death, but he mistimed his close-range header for Evergrande.

On Tuesday, Brazilian striker Hulk scored twice from the penalty spot to rescue Shanghai SIPG in a 2-2 home draw with Urawa Reds.

Urawa will go into the second leg in Japan as slight favourites on the away-goals rule, but it could have been so much better after they led 2-0 at the break.

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