[QODLink]
Sport
Big three through to Asian knockout
Pohang Steelers and Adelaide go through after 0-0 draw and are joined by Gamba Osaka.
Last Modified: 13 Apr 2010 20:21 GMT
Gamba's Takashi Usami (right) tussles with Li Wei-Feng [AFP]

Defending champions Pohang Steelers drew 0-0 with Adelaide United as they both reached the Asian Champions League knockout round along with Japanese giants Gamba Osaka.

The result between the South Koreans and the 2008 runners-up from Australia on Tuesday left Sanfrecce Hiroshima of Japan and Shandong Luneng of China out of the running in Group H.

Japan's Gamba scored a winner in injury time for a 2-1 win over Suwon Bluewings of South Korea, who booked their place in the last 16 two weeks ago.

They join South Korea's Seongnam Ilhwa and Jeonbuk Motors, and J-League champions Kashima Antlers in the round of 16 starting May 11-12.

Both Osaka and Suwon were quick on the counter-attack, with the Korean side coming close in the first-half through Chinese defender Li Weifeng and Brazilian striker Jose Mota.

The Koreans opened the scoring in the 58th minute when Mota nodded home from a corner.

But only two minutes later Osaka drew level as up-and-coming midfielder Takashi Usami played in Takahiro Futagawa to score, with Usami netting the winner in stoppage time.

Hurdle

"Our hurdle was to reach the next round today. My players played a tough game. They never gave up until the end trying to win three points and they made it," said Osaka coach Akira Nishino.

Results & fixtures

Tuesday April 13

Group C
 Pakhtakor 3-2 Al Ain
 Sepahan 1-0 Al Shabab

Group D
 Al Ahli 2-1 Mes Kerman
 Al Hilal 0-0 Al Sadd

Group G
 Gamba Osaka 2-1 Suwon
 Singapore AF 2-1 Henan

Group H
 Shandong 2-3 Hiroshima
 Pohang 0-0 Adelaide

In the other early games, Lee Tadanari scored his second goal in injury time to give Hiroshima a 3-2 win over Shandong, while Erwan Gunawan hit home a decider to give Singapore Armed Forces their first win beating Henan Jianye of China 2-1 in Group G.

In Group D, Saudi giants Al Hilal drew 0-0 with second-placed Al Sadd of Qatar.

Victory for the Riyadh club would have secured them first place and home advantage in the round of 16.

Al Ahli of the United Arab Emirates, on one point, will hope Al Hilal win, meaning their 2-1 victory over Mes Kerman from Iran on Tuesday would then leave the Dubai-based club with an outside chance of advancing.

In Group C, bottom-placed Al Ain of the United Arab Emirates lost 3-2 to Pakhtakor of Uzbekistan to kill off any realistic hope of progressing beyond the group stage.

Al Shabab of Saudi Arabia failed to secure a place in the next round as they lost 1-0 at Sepahan of Iran.

Source:
AFP
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
Italy struggles to deal with growing flood of migrants willing to risk their lives to reach the nearest European shores.
Israel's Operation Protective Edge is the third major offensive on the Gaza Strip in six years.
Muslims and Arabs in the US say they face discrimination in many areas of life, 13 years after the 9/11 attacks.
At one UN site alone, approximately four children below the age of five are dying each day.
Featured
Critics claim a vaguely worded secrecy law gives the Japanese government sweeping powers.
A new book looks at Himalayan nation's decades of political change and difficult transition from monarchy to democracy.
The Church of Christ built a $200m megachurch while analysts say members vote in a block.
US state is first to issue comprehensive draft regulations for the online currency, but critics say they are onerous.
Survivors of Shujayea bombardment recount horror tales amid frantic search for lost family members.
join our mailing list