Beijing Guoan kept their AFC Champions League quarter-final hopes alive on Wednesday with a crucial 1-0 victory over Kashima Antlers, as Gamba Osaka shattered Melbourne Victory's dreams.
Brazilian striker Tiago scored the only goal of the game late in the first half as Beijing drew level with the J-League champions at the top of Group F.
Tiago fired home in the 45th minute after gathering a superb defence-splitting lob by Sui Dongliang to give the Chinese side a deserved victory that puts them level on nine points with the Antlers.
In Osaka, Masato Yamazaki scored twice as Gamba won 2-0 to consolidate their position at the top of Group G, moving the Japanese side to 10 points from their opening four games and closer to a berth in the last eight.
With only two rounds remaining and just one team to progress to the next stage, it is impossible for Victory to bridge the gap.
Yamazaki on target
Yamazaki opened the scoring in the 31st minute when he finished off a fine move to score.
Gamba doubled their advantage 13 minutes after the break when Yamazaki was again on target, this time steering the ball home after the Melbourne defence failed to clear.
Australian Olympic forward Nathan Burns starred in Adelaide United's 4-1 hammering of Vietnam's Binh Duong, which inched them closer to the knockout rounds.
Burns, who is expected to be selected in Australia's U-23 team for August's Beijing Olympics, was in irrepressible mood early in the second half, setting up goals for Lucas Pantelis and a double for skipper Travis Dodd.
The 19-year-old helped break the stalemate with his through pass for Pantelis to run onto in the 56th minute.
Two minutes later it was Burns again who wriggled past three defenders and crossed for Dodd to sidefoot home.
Burns yet again tormented the defence with a teasing cross from the left for an easy header for Dodd and a 3-0 lead, all within six minutes.
Defender Minh Doc Pham pulled one back for Binh Duong but Adelaide had the last word with Brazilian Diego sliding in for the fourth in the 76th minute.
Adelaide now have a vital match against South Korea's Pohang Steelers at home on May 7 after the K-League outfit scored a stoppage-time equaliser to salvage a 2-2 home draw with China's Changchun Yatai.
Changchun now have eight points to Adelaide's 10, with Pohang languishing on four points and almost certainly out of contention.
Elsewhere, Iranian champions Saipa drew 1-1 with Iraq's Al Quwa Al Jawiya. Kianoush Rahmati gave Ali Daei's side the lead in the 63rd minute from the penalty spot only for Ahmed Iyad to equalise with 19 minutes remaining.
The result moved Saipa to eight points in Group B from four games while Al Quwa Al Jawiya remain three points behind.
In Group A, Iraq international striker Emad Ridha scored the only goal as Iranian league leaders Sepahan completed the double against Al Ittihad with a 1-0 away win over the Saudi side.
The winner arrived with 20 minutes to go when Ridha received the ball from Seyed Mohammad Salehi and fired a first-time shot past goalkeeper Mabrouk Zaid.
Uzbeki side Kuruvchi kept up their challenge for the quarter-finals with a 1-0 win over Al Ittihad Aleppo in the other Group A fixture.
In other late games, Al Wahda of UAE beat Saudi side Al Ahli 2-1 in Group C while Syria's Al Karama had a 1-0 victory over Sadd of Qatar.
In Group D, Uzbek champions Pakhtakor thrashed Iraq's Arbil 5-1 and Al Qadsia of Kuwait had a 1-0 victory at Qatar's Al Gharafa.