- Associated Press - Wednesday, August 23, 2017

KAWASAKI, Japan (AP) - Kawasaki Frontale will go into the second leg of the Asian Champions League quarterfinals with a two-goal lead after Yu Kobayashi scored twice in a 3-1 win over Urawa Reds on Wednesday.

Kobayashi put the hosts ahead in the 33rd minute with a well-taken strike and Elsinho doubled the advantage early in the second half.

Substitute Yuki Muto scored for Urawa in the 76th but Kobayashi sealed the win on a header with five minutes left to put Frontale in control ahead of the return leg on Sept. 13.

The winner will face either Shanghai SIPG or two-time champion Guangzhou Evergrande in the semifinals. Shanghai thrashed Guangzhou 4-0 in the first leg of their quarterfinal on Tuesday.

Urawa was without Yosuke Kashiwagi after the playmaker was injured during the warmup.



Kobayashi scored two goals in Frontale’s 4-0 hammering of Reds in a J-League match in Kawasaki last month,

Gamba Osaka was the last Japanese team to reach the last four before losing to eventual champions Guangzhou 2-1 on aggregate in 2015. No Japanese team has won the ACL title since Gamba in 2008.

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