Fri, May 29, 2015 - Page 18 News List

Gamba Osaka, Guangzhou Evergrande make quarters

AFP, DOHA

Gamba Osaka forward Patric celebrates scoring against Seoul in their Asian Champions League round-of-16 second leg in Osaka, Japan, on Wednesday.

Photo: AFP

Gamba Osaka of Japan and Guangzhou Evergrande of China booked their places in the quarter-finals of the Asian Champions League on Wednesday after the two former champions defeated South Korean sides Seoul and Seongnam in the round-of-16.

Japanese treble winners Gamba beat Seoul 3-2 at home to complete a comprehensive 6-3 aggregate victory, while a brace by Ricardo Goulart saw Chinese champions Guangzhou down Seongnam 2-0 for a 3-2 aggregate triumph.

Those results leave K League Classic champions Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors as the only South Korean club in the last eight of the competition after Suwon Samsung were eliminated by Japanese side Kashiwa Reysol on Tuesday.

Takashi Usami had scored twice in Gamba’s 3-1 victory in Seoul and the forward played a key role in the opening goal for the 2008 champions at Expo ‘70 Stadium, drawing several defenders before dinking over a cross for Patric to head home after 16 minutes.

Mauricio Molina dragged a penalty-kick wide three minutes before halftime and that miss would prove even more costly when Gamba struck again in the final minute of the first half through Shu Kurata.

Yun Ju-tae gave 2013 runners-up Seoul a glimmer of hope when he turned in Shim Je-hyuk’s cross in the 58th minute, but substitute Lins put the game to bed by heading in Hiroko Fujiharu’s cross four minutes from time.

Yun grabbed his second of the game in stoppage-time for the well-beaten South Korean side.

At the Tianhe Stadium in Guangzhou, China, the hosts had to come from behind after conceding a late penalty in a 2-1 loss to Seongnam in the first leg, but the 2013 champions got a spot-kick of their own when Huang Bowen’s shot struck the elbow of Kwak Hae-seong and Goulart converted the resulting penalty in the 27th minute to level the aggregate score and put his team on top on away goals.

Goulart wrapped things up in the 57th minute when the Brazilian headed in Zheng Long’s corner for his tournament-leading eighth goal to send Guangzhou into the quarter-finals for a fourth consecutive year.

The all-United Arab Emirates round-of-16 clash between Al Ahli and Al Ain proved to be a thriller, with Al Ahli progressing to the quarter-finals on away goals after the match ended 3-3.

Neither team had managed to score in the first leg leaving the match wide open.

Al Ain had home advantage with the match being played at the Hazza Bin Zayed Stadium and they took a very early lead when their Ghanaian striker Asamoah Gyan scored in just the fourth minute of the game.

However, Al Ahli produced a stirring fightback in the second half to score three goals in six minutes to turn around their fortunes.

Defender Salmin Khamis scored the first goal for Al Ahli in the 51st minute and then skipper Ahmed Khalil scored a brace, putting Al Ahli 3-1 up after 57 minutes.

Al Ain tried to launch a fightback of their own with Gyan scoring his second in the 78th minute and then substitute Rashe Eisa scored in stoppage-time, but they could not find the winning goal and Al Ahli progressed to the quarter-finals for the first time.

In Wednesday’s other match it was Iranian side Naft Tehran who notched up their first quarter-final appearance, on away goals, after their match with Saudi Arabia’s Al Ahli SC ended 1-2.

Tehran had a one goal advantage from the first leg and it was they who again shocked the hosts to score the opening goal through Leandro Padovani in the 31st minute.

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