Former champs Gamba eliminated
K-League duo Suwon Bluewings and Seongnam Ilhwa advanced to the quarter-finals of the AFC Champions League on Tuesday, with the latter eliminating 2008 champions Gamba Osaka. Qatar's Al Gharafa and Saudi Arabia's Al Shabab also progressed to the last eight following wins.
Brazilian Jose Mota scored twice as Suwon beat Chinese Super League champions Beijing Guoan 2-0, while a brace from Colombian midfielder Mauricio Molina helped Seongnam eventually see-off Japan's Gamba Osaka 3-0.
Substitute Waleed Al Gizani scored a last-gasp winner as Al Shabab came from behind to beat Iran's Esteghlal 3-2 in Riyadh, while an 84th-minute penalty from Brazilian Clemerson was enough as Qatar champions Al Gharafa beat Uzbekistan's Pakhtakor 1-0 in Doha.
September's quarter-final line-up will be completed today when Japan's Kashima Antlers face defending champions Pohang Steelers of Korea Republic, Australia's Adelaide United entertain a fourth K-League side Jeonbuk Motors, Zob Ahan face fellow Iranians Mes Kerman and big-spending Uzbekistan champions Bunyodkor travel to Saudi Arabia for an enthralling tie with Al Hilal.
At Suwon World Cup Stadium, Suwon were rewarded for a strong start after 27 minutes as Mota headed home a free-kick from the edge of the six-yard box which gave visiting goalkeeper Yang Zhi no chance. Yang did deny Mota on the half-hour mark before Yeom Ki-hun wasted a chance to double Suwon's lead two minutes later following good work from Mota. Xu Liang and Du Wenhui wasted glorious chances to equalise for Beijing in quick succession and the home side took advantage with six minutes remaining as Mota slid in to convert Yeom's low cross.
In Seongnam, a penalty broke the deadlock. Molina was fouled while attempting to meet a cross from substitute Song Ho-young at the back post and the Colombian picked himself up to squeeze his spot kick past Gamba goalkeeper Yosuke Fujigaya. Molina turned provider with six minutes remaining, setting Song on his way to surge into the area before firing past an exposed Fujigaya. And in stoppage time Molina curled home a superb free-kick to seal the win.
At the King Fahd International Stadium, Al Shabab took the lead midway through the first half as Faisal Al Sultan produced a clinical finish from inside the area. But a minute later Siavash Akbarpour equalised for Esteghlal from the penalty spot before Hossein Kazemi capitalised on a defensive error to put the visitors in front for the first time.
The home side, though, refused to lie down and pulled level three minutes into the second half as Tarik El Taib prodded in from inside the area. And with stoppage time looming Al Gizani bundled the ball over the line following a clever chip across goal just minutes after coming on as a substitute.
Finally at Al Gharafa Stadium, Clemerson converted from the spot following a costly handball inside the area as Al Gharafa deservedly secured a place in the last eight.