Bunyodkor routs Al Ittihad

Bunyodkor lived up to its billing as one of the pre-tournament favourites as goals from Rivaldo, Jasur Hasanov and Denilson sealed an impressive 3-0 win over last year's finalist Al Ittihad in the Asian Champions League.

Bunyodkor lived up to its billing as one of the pre-tournament favourites as goals from Rivaldo, Jasur Hasanov and Denilson sealed an impressive 3-0 win over last year's finalist Al Ittihad in the Asian Champions League.

The Tashkent giants' heavy investment over the close season paid off as they completely outclassed a poor Al Ittihad side in the Group B clash at JAR Stadium.

Rivaldo opened the scoring just four minutes in after a surging run from fellow Brazilian Denilson.

Denilson forged forward before feeding Victor Karpenko in the box and he laid the ball back first-time for Rivaldo to curl left-footed into the top corner from 25 yards.

Bunyodkor doubled its lead in the 20th minute due to some ordinary defending from the Saudi outfit as goalkeeper Tisir Al Antiaf's weak punch from Karpenko's cross landed at Hasanov's feet on the far side of the box.

The midfielder's mishit shot bounced over a prone Denilson and with Al Antiaf slow to regain his feet, the ball evaded Osama Al Harbi on the line and dribbled into the net, although the defender should have cleared.

Bunyodkor netted a third in the 66th minute and again slack marking was to blame.

A deflected free kick looped into the air and Al Harbi stood watching as Denilson - signed from Asian Champions League winners Pohang Steelers - headed his first goal for his new club.

In the group's other game, Igor Castro's second-half header secured a 1-0 win for Zob Ahan over Al Wahda at Foolad Shahr Stadium.

In a game of few chances, the Brazilian broke the deadlock on the hour mark with a fine header to ensure the Iranian team got off to a winning start.

Croatian substitute Kruno Lovrak scored a hat-trick as South Korea's Jeonbuk Motors eased to a 4-1 victory over Indonesia's Persipura in Jakarta to kick off their campaign in style at Gelora Bung Karno Stadium.

Kim Seung-yong's 15th-minute penalty opened the scoring for the 2007 champions before Lovrak was introduced midway through the first half.

And just two minutes later Lovrak doubled Jeonbuk's lead when he lost his marker and fired home.

Goalkeeper Kwon Sun-tae denied Persipura duo Stevie Bonsapia and Gerard Pangkali at the end of the first half before the home side made an encouraging start after the break.

But Persipura's lack of concentration proved crucial as Lovrak capped off a swift counterattack six minutes after the hour mark.

Ian Kabes curled home an impressive consolation for the hosts a minute later, but with nine minutes remaining Lovrak completed his hat-trick to seal the win with a close-range finish.

In Kashima, J.League champions Kashima Antlers also got their Group F campaign off to a winning start with a 1-0 victory over Chinese Super League side Changchun Yatai.

Former Japan international Koji Nakata headed home Takuya Nozawa's free kick three minutes before half-time at Kashima Soccer Stadium to hand the three-time J.League champions all three points.

Goals from Mauricio Molina and Dzenan Radoncic saw Seongnam record a 2-0 triumph over Kawasaki Frontale in Group E at Tancheon Sports Complex.

Molina gave the hosts a first-half lead and created the second as the K-League side downed last season's quarter-finalists.

The Colombian created Seongnam's first chance when he sent Radoncic clear but, with only keeper Eiji Kawashima to beat, the Montenegrin could not hit the target.

However, Molina broke the deadlock in the 35th minute when Radoncic fed the unmarked Colombian inside the box and he applied a low finish.

The duo combined again 12 minutes from time when Molina made progress down the left flank and crossed for Radoncic and he turned Hiroki Ito before firing into the roof of the net from six yards.

And Al Gharafa made a winning start after the Qatar side won 2-1 at Al Jazira in their Group A opener.

Goals from Moroccan Othman Al Assas and Iraq international Younis Mahmoud secured the win for the visitors at Mohammad Bin Zayed Stadium with Rafael Sobis scoring a consolation for Al Jazira.

Iranian team Esteghal also claimed maximum points following a 2-1 win at Saudi outfit Al Ahli at Prince Abdullah Al Faisal Stadium.

Farhad Majidi scored in either half to wrap up the victory before substitute Hassan Al Raheb grabbed a late consolation for the home side.