SINGAPORE (AFP) - Japanese powerhouse Kashima Antlers earned the honour of being the only team to win all six of their AFC Champions League group games on Wednesday while Beijing Guoan booked berth in the round of 16.
Kashima beat Korea's Jeonbuk Motors 2-1 with their dominant run, securing them top spot in Group F and home advantage in the one-leg knockout stage against defending champions Pohang Steelers.
That match will be a family affair, with Kashima coach Oswaldo Oliveira's younger brother Waldermar Lemos de Oliveira at the helm of Pohang.
South Korean international Lee Jung-Soo opened the scoring for Kashima, heading home a pinpoint corner from Takuya Nozawa, who got on the scoresheet himself two minutes later with a lightning shot that whistled into the net.
Jeonbuk pulled one back through Jin Kyung-Sun but Kashima got behind the ball to keep their 100 percent record intact.
It condemned Jeonbuk to a trip to Australia to play Adelaide United for a place in the quarter-finals.
"Jeonbuk are tough opponents and their quality is high. It gives us confidence that we defeated such an excellent team," said Oliveira.
"Today's game was the most impressive among our six wins. We were able to finish the group round in very good style."
In the group's other match, Indonesia's Persipura Jayapura bagged their first points of the tournament when they beat a lacklustre Changchun Yatai of China 2-0 with goals from Eduard Ivakdalam and Yustinus Paew.
Korean outfit Seongnam Ilhwa had already secured home advantage for the round of 16 on May 11 and 12 before they kicked a ball but refused to relax, grinding out a 3-2 win over Melbourne Victory.
Cheon Kwang-Jin put them in front before substitute Mate Dugandzic drew Melbourne level to set up a frantic finale with three goals in 11 minutes.
Do Namkung restored Seongnam's lead on 72 minutes before Tom Dugandzic pounced for the equaliser five minutes later. The Korean's never gave up and Jo Jae-Chul handed them the winner seven minutes from time.
Chinese Super League champions Beijing Guoan grabbed the east zone's eighth and final spot in the knockout round with a 2-0 win against Japan?s Kawasaki Frontale.
Beijing finish second behind Seongnam in Group E with goals either side of half-time by Australian Joel Griffiths and Brazilian Valdo making them the first Chinese club to qualify since 2008.
In the west, Saudi giants Al Ittihad and Uzbek champions Bunyodkor are both bidding to take the remaining qualifying spot in Group B as they visit group leaders Zobahan in Iran and host UAE?s Al Wahda respectively.
Al Ittihad, last year's beaten finalists, visit group leaders Zobahan knowing a win would secure them top spot and a home tie next up.
In Group A, Tehran giants Esteghlal have 11 points and Qatari champions Al Gharafa have 10 as both face away games trying to secure top spot.
Esteghlal visit Al Jazira in Abu Dhabi, while Al Gharafa take on Al Ahli in Jeddah.
|14||Jung-Soo Lee||20' 20'|
|8||T. Nozawa||22' 22'|
|Coach: Oswaldo de Oliveira|
for Fellype Gabriel 68'
for A. Uchida 73'
for S. Kohrogi 86'
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