Evergrande, again, into AFC quarterfinals
Updated: 2013-05-23 13:42
KASHIWA, Japan - Guangzhou Evergrande, Kashiwa Reysol, Lekhwiya and Esteghlal advanced to the Asian Champions League quarterfinals on Wednesday.
Chinese super league champion Guangzhou Evergrande beat Australian club Central Coast Mariners 3-0 in home leg to make the last eight for the second year in a row.
Guangzhou's foreign force Muriqui, Dario Conca and domestic striker Gao Lin scored as Marcello Lippi's side won 5-1 on aggregate following a 2-1 first-leg win in Australia.
Muriqui (11) of Guangzhou Evergrande celebrates after a goal against Central Coast Mariners of Australia during their second leg of the Asian Champions League last 16 game in Guangzhou, on May 22, 2013. [Photo/Xinhua]
"I'm very satisfied with today's result," Guangzhou coach Marcello Lippi said. "We've been playing a lot of matches consecutively and it might have had an impact on us physically, but today's result was good."
Evergrande was without striker Lucas Barrios but dominated from the outset, with Muriqui scoring in the seventh minute before Conca doubled the lead with a penalty in first-half stoppage time. Gao Lin put the result beyond doubt with his second goal of the tournament in the 68th minute.
Jorge Wagner scored one goal and set up another as Kashiwa Reysol beat South Korean side Jeonbuk Motors 3-2. The former J-League champions won 5-2 on aggregate to earn a spot in the quarterfinals for the first time.
Lekhwiya withstood a second-half comeback from Saudi-based Al Hilal to draw 2-2. The Qatari side went through 3-2 on aggregate after their 1-0 win in Riyadh last week.
Esteghlal drew 0-0 with Al Shabab Al Arabi but the 4-2 win in Dubai last week was its first final eight appearance.
In Japan, 2006 Asian champion Jeonbuk went ahead in the 22nd minute through an own goal by Tatsuya Masushima. But the hosts leveled through Hirofumi Watanabe's diving header in the 43rd.
Wagner extended the lead six minutes after the break before Masato Kudo made it 3-1.
"We knew it was going to be a tough match because they are a good team but we were able to control the game in the second half and I want to congratulate my players," Kashiwa coach Nelsinho said.
Jeonbuk scored a consolation goal in the 87th through substitute Kevin Oris.
"It was difficult after we conceded the second goal early in the first half," Jeonbuk coach Fabio Lefundes said.
Kashiwa, the only team from Japan left in the competition, extended its unbeaten record to eight games.
In Doha, Lekhwiya advanced to the quarterfinals for the first time following goals by striker Issiar Dia and defender Mohamed Musa.
Senegal international Dia wrong-footed the Al Hilal defense, then beat goalkeeper Abdullah Al Sudairy to open the scoring after 14 minutes
Musa netted his first goal of the campaign at the start of the second half.
Al Hilal, the two-time Asian champion, hit back through Salman Al Faraj just after the hour mark before Mohammed Al Shalhoub's 78th-minute equalizer from the penalty spot.
Recently crowned Iranian champion Esteghlal was the last team to go through after getting past Al Shabab Al Arabi of the United Arab Emirates.
In a dour and physical contest littered with fouls and yellow cards, the best chance came from Al Shabab's Luiz Henrique, but his attempt just before the break hit the crossbar.
The draw for the quarterfinals will be held on June 20 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.