KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 3 (Reuters) Japan's Urawa Reds earned a 2-2 draw away to South Korea's Seongnam Ilhwa to take the upper hand in their Asian Champions League semi-final first leg today.
Reds fought back from a goal down to lead 2-1 after 65 minutes before Kim Do-heon salvaged a draw for the home side 10 minutes from time.
Seongnam's Brazilian striker Mota gave his team the lead on 10 minutes before Tatsuya Tanaka equalised in the 52nd minute.
Urawa's Robson Ponte put the Japanese side ahead in the 65th minute but Kim levelled matters for the Koreans, who face an uphill task to reach the final.
The second leg is in Saitama on October 24 with Urawa favourites to advance on the strength of their two away goals.
The other semi-final first leg between Iran's Sepahan and Al Wahda of the United Arab Emirates was kicking off later today.
Mota, who was an injury doubt before the game, gave his side a deserved lead when he chipped the ball over Urawa goalkeeper Ryota Tsuzuki for his seventh goal of the tournament.
Urawa levelled through Tanaka, who headed Ponte's cross from the right over goalkeeper Kim Yong-dae.
Ponte gave Urawa the lead from the penalty spot on 65 minutes after defender Kim Dong-hun fouled Washington.
Kim Do-heon kept the tie alive towards the end when he converted a rebound from Mota's 12-metre shot. The Koreans nearly won it at the death but Kim Dong-hun's effort was disallowed for offside.
REUTERS BJR PM1919