Fellaini scores to help Shandong Luneng win in Asia

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First-half strikes from Marouane Fellaini and Graziano Pelle gave China PR's Shandong Luneng a 2-1 win over Johor Darul Ta'zim (JDT) of Malaysia on Matchday Three of the 2019 AFC Champions League on Tuesday.

The victory takes Shandong second in Group E, two points behind leaders Kashima Antlers, while JDT remain at the bottom of the standings with just one point.

The home side served early notice of their intent as Wu Xinghan flicked a header just over from Hao Junmin's corner in the second minute.

Shandong looked set to make the breakthrough in the 19th minute when Fellaini controlled a deep cross on his chest and lost his marker. But the advancing Farizal Marlias did enough to put the former Manchester United man off and he stabbed his shot over the bar.

Pelle came close minutes later but he just failed to get a foot to Jin Jingdao's dangerous low cross.

The hosts started to look frustrated at their failure to take the chances and JDT were growing in confidence.

Jin Jingdao was sent through on goal but a superb block from Mauricio denied him. From the resulting corner, Fellaini headed home at the near post to give Shandong the lead after 30 minutes.

The home side soon had a chance to add a second when Aidil Zafuan brought down Pelle and conceded a penalty. The Italian converted the spot-kick to give Shandong a comfortable lead. 

JDT hit back as Gonzalo Cabrera worked his way through the home defence and had his shot saved by Wang Dalei.

The Chinese side were soon on top in the second half and Fellaini's knock-down sent Jin Jingdao in on goal but the striker blasted his effort straight at Farizal. 

But JDT stunned the home crowd when Safawi Rasid cut in from the right and curled a left-footed shot into the top corner from 25 yards out on the hour mark.

The shell-shocked hosts were rocked but rediscovered their composure to put together a flowing move that ended with Wu Xinghan's low shot pushed wide by Farizal. 

Pelle had a decent chance to add a clinching third in the 78th minute but he pulled his volley well wide.

Shandong looked happy to run down the clock towards the end and they almost conceded the equaliser in added time when Cabrera's free-kick crashed off the bar.

JDT host Shandong in Malaysia on April 24 in a game the Malaysian champions really need to win to stay in contention for a place in the Round of 16.

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