TOKYO (AFP) - Defending champions Gamba Osaka crashed out of the AFC Champions League on Wednesday, but Japanese and Korean teams booked four places in the quarter-finals.
J-League sides Kawasaki Frontale and Nagoya Grampus together with FC Seoul and Pohang Steelers from the K-League join west zone teams Al Ittihad of Saudi Arabia, Umm-Salal of Qatar, Pakhtakor and Bunyodkor of Uzbekistan in the quarter-finals in September.
Osaka failed to keep a goal lead despite two from Brazilian striker Leandro before losing to Kawasaki 3-2 as Japan international Kengo Nakamura, Brazilian Renatinho and Masaru Kurotsu secured a come-from-behind victory.
Nakamura also set up Kurotsu's decider.
"I was very disappointed," said a dejected Osaka coach Akira Nishino. "Key players came back from injuries and we played better than I had expected. But we lost goals when my players slowed down in the second half."
"But it was our best eleven. I was really disappointed, because we cannot play in the Champions League any more while we are regaining our best form," added Nishino.
Japan international forward Keiji Tamada scored the decider in the 66th minute to give Nagoya a 2-1 home win over South Korea's Suwon Samsung Bluewings.
"It was really a tough game, but we ended with a win. It gives us a lot of confidence to reach the last eight in Asia," said Nagoya's Serbian coach Dragan Stojkovic.
In an exciting game at the Kashima stadium, Seoul came back from behind to beat J-League champions Kashima Antlers 5-4 in a penalty shootout after drawing 2-2 after regulation and extra time.
Forward Shinzo Koroki opened the scoring in the fifth minute when defender Park Yong-Ho's clearance bounded towards his goal and Koroki hit it into the net.
But Seoul made it even in the 22nd minute as defenders Atsuto Uchida and Daiki Iwamasa failed to clear a right cross, allowing the Koreans to pick up the rebound for the equaliser.
One minute later, Seoul had a chance to get ahead, but Montenegrin striker Dejan Damjanovic's shot hit the right post and Masahiko Inoha cleared the rebound.
Kashima got off to a flying start in the second half.
Iwamasa's header on a left corner from Mitsuo Ogasawara was saved by goalkeeper Kim Ho-Jun, but Takeshi Aoki made no mistake on the following corner, nodding home in the 50th minute.
But Kashima suffered a major setback when skipper Mitsuo Ogasawara received a second yellow card, allowing midfielder Ki Sung-Yueng to fire an equaliser on a free kick in the 78th minute.
"It was an exciting game between the top teams from the K-League and the J-League. I said before that the winners of this game will reach the final. I sill think so," said Seoul's Turkish coach Senol Gunex.
"In the second half, Kashima lost one player, but they played excellent. I'm really happy that we won today. Hopefully, we can keep winning the up-coming games as well," he added.
Kashima's Brazilian coach Oswaldo Oliveira said: "Unfortunately, we lost a penalty shootout, but my players performed very well for 120 minutes. Even after we were reduced to 10 men, we created many chances."
"Sometimes you win and sometimes you lose. We just ended with a defeat today. Hopefully we can win the J-League and come back to the Champions League next year again."
In South Korea, midfielder Choi Hyo-Jin scored a hat-trick to lead Pohang to a 6-0 thrashing of Australia's Newcastle Jets, while Brazilian Denilson tormented the visitors, scoring one and setting up two others.
|Klinsmann: I had no contact with FA|
|Malaga presidents wants Isco return|
|Griezmann must think before he speaks - Saul|
|Rooney: I decided to take corners instead of Kane at Euros|
|Benteke: My time at Liverpool was not a failure|
|Asensio: I had the chance to join Barca|
|Morata: I had five or six phone calls every day|
|Costa: I wanted to return to Atletico|
|Mascherano: It would have been ´a sin´ for Messi to stay in international retirement|
|Guardiola: No one plays better than Barcelona|
|Sigthorsson seals Galatasaray loan move|
|Griezmann urges France to forget Euro 2016|
|Konoplyanka joins Schalke on loan|
|Mustafi finalises Arsenal move|
|Chambers loaned to Middlesbrough by Arsenal|
|Ajax snap up Ziyech from Twente|
|Kenedy joins Watford on loan from Chelsea|
|Cuca backs ´golden boy´ Gabriel Jesus to take off at Man City|
|Aguero´s brother joins Cadiz on loan|
|Leicester made €30m bid for Adrien Silva, father reveals|
|Schweinsteiger feels ´deep gratitude´ for Germany career|
|Swansea complete deal for Barnsley defender Mawson|
|Perez delight at Arsenal signing|
|Inter complete Gabriel capture|
|Mariappa returns to Watford|
|Aguero charged over Reid elbow|
|Hart pictured with Torino shirt ahead of loan switch|
|Albrighton pens fresh Leicester deal|
|Hull seal club-record Mason swoop|
|Pjanic confident Juve debut is on the horizon|
|Lucescu confirms Juventus interest in Witsel after Everton snub|
|Messi trains ahead of Argentina return|
|Villa sign Kodjia in a deal worth up to £15m|
|Marshall leaves Cardiff and heads to Hull|
|Rosicky returns to Sparta Prague|
|Gnabry close to Werder Bremen switch|
|Arsenal complete Perez deal|
|Celtic sign Gamboa from West Brom|
|Remy joins Palace on season-long loan|
|Kante like a rat - Hazard|
|Rooney proud to break England outfield caps record|
|Rooney to quit international football after World Cup|
|Barcelona sign €30m Valencia striker Alcacer|
|Koke and Vazquez welcome Laporte to Spain fold|
|Schweinsteiger has no ´personal problems´ with Mourinho|
|Alcacer, Hart, Wilshere and the deadline-beating deals still to come|
|Antonio thought first England call-up was banter|
|Premier League a completely different market - Heidel|
|Lens completes Fenerbahce loan move|
|Pescara awarded points after Sassuolo field ineligible player|
|Lyon calm Lacazette injury fears|
|Bamford joins Burnley on loan|
|Van Basten to leave Netherlands´ backroom staff for FIFA role|
|Ventura perfect for Italy - Verratti|
|Martial needs to be more consistent - Deschamps|
|Verratti not happy at PSG - Ventura|
|Ventura: I´ll probably manage Chelsea when Conte leaves|
|Bartomeu: Barca discussing new contract with Messi|
|Bauza: No doubts over Messi motivation|
|Schmeichel targets quick return after surgery|
|Giovinco to help aid earthquake victims in Italy|
|Ancelotti backs Madrid for LaLiga and Ronaldo to be top goalscorer|
|Gomes: Portugal can deal with Ronaldo absence|
|Sterling reveals Guardiola impact|
|Fiorentina deny approach for Chelsea target Alonso|
|Allardyce confirms Rooney retains England captaincy|
|Hart to join Torino – agent|
|Sanches withdrawn from Portugal squad|
|Sporting CP issue Adrien Silva clarification amid Leicester links|
|Watford confirm Okaka signing|
|Manchester City outcast Zuculini seals Rayo Vallecano loan switch|
|Dembele offers something different - Deschamps|
|Sunderland would just love to get rid of me - Lens|
|No Casillas in Spain squad represents a ´new era´, says Ramos|
|Zenit defender Criscito could return to Italy, claims agent|
|Barcelona reveal Messi hamstring injury|
|Modric named new Croatia captain|
|Napoli announce Rog signing|
|De Boer is building something at Inter - Morratti|
|Keane eyes coaching career after international retirement|
|Bravo left out of Chile squad for family reasons|
|West Brom announce Chadli signing|
|Former Dodgers owner set for Marseille purchase|
|Ferdinand: I reached out to Wenger|
|Holgate has big quality for a young player - Koeman|
|Manchester United want to keep Rojo, says agent|
|Low not concerned by captaincy as Germany bid farewell to greats|
|Aguero pulls out of Argentina squad|
|Howedes: Germany must prove themselves all over again|
|Ventura close to tears on first day of Italy training|
|Torino interested in City outcast Hart|
|Adrien Silva hoping to seal ´exceptional´ Leicester switch|
|Boufal joins Southampton from Lille for club-record fee|
|Villa outcast Lescott joins AEK Athens|
|Milner: I´m learning left-back role as fast as I can|
|Allardyce ready for Hart transfer disruption|
|´Door always open´ for Barkley - Allardyce|
|Xhaka like Petit, claims Wenger|
|Coric: I was a medical away from joining Liverpool|
|Pasalic keen to put injury troubles behind him at Milan|
|Guardiola delighted with Sterling form|
|Rooney should retire from England duty - Shearer|
|Hazard can ´decide´ the title - Ivanovic|
|Allardyce hails ´outstanding´ Antonio|
|Belgium can make history - Henry|
|Nice president: Call Balotelli and tell him we need a striker|
|Modric would like to see out career in Madrid|
|Geromel replaces Caio in Brazil squad|
|Mustafi: Ozil convinced me to join Arsenal|
|Pardew confirms ´one or two´ more signings|
|MLS Review: Kaka brace denies NYC top spot, Timbers beat Sounders|
|Mihajlovic: I won´t waste anymore breath on Maksimovic|
|Okon named Central Coast Mariners coach|
|´Special´ Rashford will get chance - Rooney|
|Injury forces Schurrle out of Germany squad|
|Burke snubs Premier League interest to join RB Leipzig|
|Guardiola: Nasri has a future at City, if he wants it|
|Klopp confident ´all will be good´ with Sturridge|
|Emery confident PSG will bounce back|
|Athletic may strengthen squad - Valverde|