El Jaish became the first team to seal a place in the Round of 16 of the AFC Champions League, with a draw against hosts Nasaf Qarshi enough to see them through with two games to spare. Meanwhile, leaders from other groups edged closer to qualification and can join the Qataris in the knockout stage with a win or draw. Join FIFA.com as we review the action across Asia.

The match
Urawa Red Diamonds 1-0 Guangzhou Evergrande
As history has proved, there have been no easy jobs for the holders. Only two teams—Al Ittihad and Guangzhou Evergrande—have lifted the trophy twice, with the former the only side to have successfully defended the title. And this pattern looks set to continue this campaign with Guangzhou's title-defence hopes all but shattered. Indeed, with two draws and a loss, Luiz Felipe Scolari's under-performing side arrived in Japan desperately needing a win to salvage their diminishing hopes. However, their profligacy in front of goal cost them dearly as the visitors lost 1-0. Yuki Muto struck the only goal for hosts Urawa Red Diamonds, leaving Guangzhou on the brink of elimination. Front-runners Sydney FC defeated Pohang Steelers by the identical scoreline in the other game, meaning that the Australians and Urawa can progress together with a draw in their next meeting in a fortnight's time.

The surprise
Becamex Binh Duong 3-2 Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors
Captain Nguyen Anh Duc struck two penalties as Becamex Binh Duong of Group E produced the matchday's biggest surprise by defeating nine-man Jeonbuk Motors at home. In what was a controversy-filled affair, Anh Duc put the Vietnamese double winners in front inside 12 minutes with a spot-kick. The hosts' lead was short-lived with the visitors going ahead courtesy of goals from Lee Jongho and Han Kyowon in quick succession. But Christian Amougou drew the home side level ten minutes from break before the tide turned in Binh Duong's favour with the dismissals of first Kim Changsoo and then Kim Hyunggil. From the resulting penalty, Anh Duc kept his cool to seal the unlikely triumph as Binh Duong maintained their hopes. The loss proved costly for Jeonbuk as they conceded their leading place to FC Tokyo, who won 2-1 at Jiangsu Suning.

The other attractions
In Group A, Temurkhuja Abdukholiqov scored the only goal as Lokomotiv Tashkent downed visiting Sepahan to move into first in the group at the expense of Al-Nasr, who shared the spoils in a goalless draw against Al Ittihad at home. The results left the Uzbeks within a whisker of progression, with a victory against Al-Nasr in the next matchday enough to see them through.

The same can be said of Group B leaders Zob-Ahan, who trounced Bunyodkor in a 5-2 thriller at home. The victory, coupled with Lekhwiya's 4-0 home win against Al Nassr, moved the Iranian side on the edge of progression.

Group C's Teraktor-Sazi kept their solitary-point lead intact after beating Pakhtakor Tashkent 2-0 at home. Hot on their heels are Al Hilal who saw off Al Jazira 1-0 with Ailton netting the match-winner. The top two meet in the next game with the winners able to advance.

Group D's runaway leaders El Jaish advanced despite being held to a goalless tie at Nasaf Qarsi. The draw may have put their winning streak to an end, but the point proved precious as it secured their place among the top-two. Al Ain moved to second place with a 2-1 away win at Al Ahli.

Group F's top-of-the-standings clash between FC Seoul and Shandong Luneng ended in a goalless stalemate, with the Korean hosts maintaining their three-point cushion. In another game, pointless Buriram United became the first eliminated side after losing to Sanfrecce Hiroshima 2-0.

Debutants Shanghai SIPG continued their amazing run in Group G as they overcame hosts Gamba Osaka 2-0. China PR international forward Wu Lei struck the opener and also had a hand in another as Sven-Goran Eriksson's visitors registered their third consecutive win. The three points, coupled with second-placed Melbourne Victory's 1-1 away draw at Suwon Samsung Bluewings, saw Shanghai extend their lead to three points.

The player
When Shanghai SIPG touched down in Gamba, drawing the most attention were Dario Conca and Elkeson, both of whom figured prominently in Guangzhou Evergrande's title-winning campaign in 2013. However, it was 24-year-old Wu Lei who stole the show with the Chinese striking prodigy having a hand in Shanghai's two goals. Hot off his brilliant performances in the recent 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™ qualifier against Qatar, during which he sealed the 2-0 victory for hosts China, Wu continued his prolific form by opening the scoring with his fifth goal of the campaign before contributing in the second.

The stat
6 - An interesting insight into the Asian campaign is that the team who beats the defending champions are likely to reach the final. This is seemingly a fact borne out during the past, with Al Karamah, Urawa Red Diamonds, Gamba Osaka, Zob-Ahan, Western Sydney Wanderers and Guangzhou Evergrande all pulling off victories against the holders en route to the final respectively.

What they said
"Today we produced better chances than Urawa Red and I am satisfied with my team's performances. The rivals' strengths are their swift counter-attacking but if we scored first then things would have gone differently. We are not a god-like team so there is no way to go through to the final each time," Guangzhou Evergrande coach Luiz Felipe Scolari

Matchday 4 results
5&6 April
Group A: Lokomotiv Tashkent 1-0 Sepahan, Al-Nasr 0-0 Al Ittihad
Group B: Zob-Ahan 5-2 Bunyodkor Tashkent, Lekhwiya 4-0 Al Nassr
Group C: Teraktor-Sazi 2-0 Pakhtakor Tashkent, Al Hilal 1-0 Al Jazira
Group D: Nasaf Qarsi 0-0 El Jaish, Al Ahli 1-2 Al Ain
Group E: Becamex Binh Duong 3-2 Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors, Jiangsu Suning 1-2 FC Tokyo
Group F: FC Seoul 0-0 Shandong Luneng, Buriram United 0-2 Sanfrecce Hiroshima
Group G: Gamba Osaka 0-2 Shanghai SIPG, Suwon Samsung Bluewings 1-1 Melbourne Victory
Group H: Sydney FC 1-0 Pohang Steelers, Urawa Red Diamonds 1-0 Guangzhou Evergrande