SINGAPORE (AFP) - Defending champions Pohang Steelers put their AFC Champions League challenge back on track on Wednesday with a narrow 2-1 victory, but Japanese powerhouse Gamba Osaka were held 1-1 at home.
Title contenders Al Hilal, meanwhile, put themselves in a commanding position in their group by comfortably beating Mes Kerman 3-0.
South Korea's Pohang regained their winning touch after a surprise loss to Adelaide United last week, with a dramatic last few minutes against Japan's Sanfrecce Hiroshima at the Steelyard.
Pohang looked comfortable after skipper Hwang Jae-Won put them in front with a powerful header on 54 minutes but Sanfrecce defender Tomoaki Makino was brought down in the box with just one minute left.
Bulgarian defender Ilian Stoyanov stepped up to convert the penalty but Sanfrecce lost concentration and Pohang struck back in injury time when Brazilian forward Almir prodded home a rebound from a Kim Jae-Sung free-kick.
"This was a tough game for us but it was good to see that the players had the belief even after they equalised to keep trying to get the winning goal," said Pohang coach Waldemar Lemos.
A-league side Adelaide top Group H after sweeping to an impressive 2-0 victory over Shandong Luneng in China, with goals in each half from Sergio van Dijk and Matthew Leckie.
"It was a great win. I think it was really important that we backed up from our good win against Pohang," said Adelaide head coach Aurelio Vidmar.
In Osaka, 2008 champions Gamba were held by China's Henan Jianye, leaving them with just two points from two games after losing last week to Suwon Bluewings.
It was a disappointing effort from a team that was desperate to assert itself after losing in the J-League over the weekend.
Zhang Lu gave the visitors the lead after four minutes when he proved quickest to react after goalkeeper Atsushi Kimura failed to gather a shot from Senegalese forward Amado Dialo.
The scores were levelled when striker Lucas was hacked down in the penalty area, with the Brazilian dusting himself off to convert the spotkick 10 minutes before the break.
"Without that goal early in the game, the game would have gone differently," said Gamba boss Akira Nishino.
"If we let our opponents go ahead this can happen."
The other match in the group saw Korea's Suwon Bluewings beat a 10-man Singapore Armed Forces 2-0, with goals from Brazilians Juninho and Jose Mota capping an accomplished display.
Saudi giants Al Hilal moved three points clear at the top of Group D after beating Mes Kerman of Iran 3-0 in Riyadh.
Hilal, who secured the 2009-10 Saudi league title in January, took a third-minute lead through Swedish international winger Christian Wilhelmsson.
Defender Osama Hawsawi doubled their advantage in the 15th minute before Yasser Al Qahtani made the points safe for Eric Gerets' side in the 81st minute.
Former Iran forward Ali Samereh scored an injury-time consolation for the visitors.
Qatari side Al Sadd piled on the misery for Henk ten Cate's Al Ahli in the group's other fixture with a 5-0 victory at the Al Rashid Stadium in Dubai.
Al Ahli lost 4-2 at Mes Kerman in their opening group match and were well beaten by Al Sadd, for whom Brazilian striker Leandro netted a hat-trick.
In-form Saudi outfit Al Shabab took charge of Group C by defeating previous leaders Pakhtakor 3-0 in the Uzbek capital Tashkent, with Angola international striker Flavio on target twice in the second half.
In the other group game, Iranian giants Sepahan were held to a 0-0 draw in front of their home fans by UAE representatives Al Ain.
|24||Jae-Won Hwang||53' 73'|
|Coach: Waldemar Lemos|
for Alexandro 73'
for Jae-Sung Kim 86'
for Tae-Su Kim 90'
|Equatorial Guinea win miraculous - Becker|
|Vertonghen excited by Tottenham´s form|
|Garcia lauds Roma´s resilience|
|Sinclair wants to let his football do the talking|
|Luis Enrique aiming to halt Villarreal progress|
|Costa: ´I’m no angel´|
|La Liga Review: Real, Atletico cruise to wins|
|Primeira Liga Review: Leaders Benfica bounce back with win, Vitoria held|
|Serie A Review: Roma drop more points, Genoa and Fiorentina draw|
|Ligue 1 Review: Marseille return to second, Montpellier held|
|Eredivisie Review: PSV go nine points clear, Twente steal last-gasp win|
|Tunisia 1 Equatorial Guinea 2 (aet): Balboa brace sends hosts through|
|Klopp encouraged by Leverkusen stalemate, as Dortmund hit bottom|
|No-show again from Mourinho after City draw|
|Pellegrini suggests different styles shown by City and Chelsea|
|Le Roy dejected following Congo´s Africa Cup of Nations exit|
|Bundesliga Review: Dortmund bottom, Paderborn thumped|
|Simeone marvels at Griezmann improvement|
|Emulating Messi will be tough for Neymar - Luis Enrique|
|Ibenge revels in DR Congo fightback|
|Reception delights Lampard on Stamford Bridge homecoming|
|Milan to downsize from San Siro|
|League Two Review: Luton claim Cambridge double, Shrewsbury stay top|
|Matic feels the effects of Liverpool match in City draw|
|West Brom lacked tempo, says Pulis|
|Pochettino remains grounded|
|Lukaku can inspire Everton - Martinez|
|Bayer Leverkusen 0 Borussia Dortmund 0: Frustrating draw leaves BVB bottom|
|Chelsea 1 Manchester City 1: Advantage Mourinho as top two share the spoils|
|Pardew laments lack of guile in Everton defeat|
|Poyet hoping to build on Burnley victory|
|Ancelotti lauds ´fantastic´ Benzema|
|Dyche backs Ings to bounce back after ´off-day´|
|Pearson brushes off ´bonus game´ defeat|
|Eibar 1 Atletico Madrid 3: Griezmann and Mandzukic inspire champions´ response|
|Rodgers delighted with Sturridge´s goalscoring return|
|QPR not as bad as scoreline suggests - Redknapp|
|League One Review: Bradford pushed hard as MK Dons go top|
|United killed the game too much - Van Gaal|
|Hughes hails hat-trick hero Walters|
|Congo 2 Democratic Republic of Congo 4: Mbokani strikes twice in remarkable fightback|
|Talks break down over Fletcher´s West Ham switch|
|Scottish Premiership Review: Highland derby all square|
|Championship Review: Derby and Boro stay in touch with leaders|
|Good enough for Real Madrid or Barcelona? - Luongo is Socceroos´ next superstar|
|Bruce backs Elmohamady after ´horrible afternoon´|
|Crystal Palace 0 Everton 1: Lukaku ends Palace run|
|Stoke City 3 QPR 1: Walters hat-trick seals win for hosts|
|Liverpool 2 West Ham 0: Sturridge on target in long-awaited return|
|West Brom 0 Tottenham 3: Kane at the double to down Albion|
|Manchester United 3 Leicester City 1: Van Gaal´s hosts avenge humiliating defeat|
|Real Madrid 4 Real Sociedad 1: Benzema stars in Ronaldo´s absence|
|Sunderland 2 Burnley 0: Defoe nets in routine victory|
|Roma snap up Doumbia|
|Huddersfield defender Smith stable after being airlifted to hospital|
|Carver: More to come from Cabella|
|Ivory Coast v Algeria: Renard demands success|
|Match winner Troisi hails Socceroo colleagues|
|Ghana v Guinea: Grant´s men tackle team happy with their lot|
|Australia deserved victory - Ki|
|Inzaghi ready to unleash duo against Parma|
|Cahill: Socceroos triumph to super-charge football in Oz|
|Hull City 0 Newcastle United 3: Carver up and running after routine win|
|Stielike: South Korea still champions|
|Recruitment proving difficult for Mancini|
|Postecoglou targets World Cup impact|
|Allegri dismisses talk of Vidal rift|
|Australia 2 South Korea 1 (aet): Troisi seals Socceroos´ maiden Asian Cup title|
|Ibrahimovic questions PSG fans|
|Azpilicueta anticipating ´weird´ Lampard return|
|Sinclair: Milner praise for Villa made my decision easy|
|Van Gaal fumes at questions on Herrera´s future|
|Cork excited about new challenge|
|Arsenal still gunning for glory - Gibbs|
|Quinteros named Ecuador coach|
|Sturridge eager to prove fitness|
|Blanc: ´We were expecting better´|
|Hecking proud of Wolfsburg|
|Boateng urges Bayern to learn from Wolfsburg thrashing|
|Sporting Braga 1 Moreirense 0: Santos the hero for hosts|
|Cordoba complete triple swoop, Levante bring in two|
|Partick Thistle 0 St Mirren 1: Debutant Dayton the hero|
|Rayo Vallecano 1 Deportivo La Coruna 2: Borges debut double downs hosts|
|Bournemouth 2 Watford 0: Championship leaders stroll to success|
|Dordrecht 0 Heerenveen 0: Visitors´ woes compounded by Sinkgraven sale|
|Paris Saint-Germain 1 Rennes 0: Lavezzi goal enough for champions|
|Palace confirm Souare capture|
|Barcelona v Villarreal: Xavi looking to put high-flyers in their place|
|Simeone denies gesture towards referee|
|Wolfsburg 4 Bayern Munich 1: Dost and De Bruyne at the double as hosts honour Malanda|
|Ben Arfa ineligible to play for Nice|
|Ginola calls time on FIFA presidency bid|
|Cork seals Swansea switch|
|Arsenal v Aston Villa: Wenger lauds team spirit|
|Strootman out for longer than expected|
|Southampton v Swansea City: Monk eager for return to form|
|Injury blow for Southampton striker Long|
|Montella confirms Cuadrado will join Chelsea|
|Bordeaux bring in Chantome from PSG|
|Huth suspended for two matches over tweets|
|Udinese v Juventus: Pirlo not taking Serie A lead for granted|
|Carlisle to return home|
|Prince Ali outlines campaign after submitting FIFA president bid|
|Costa must improve behaviour - Pellegrini|
|Olic seals Hamburg return|
|FIFPro planning legal action to protect unpaid players|
|Burnley rule out Liverpool move for Ings|
|Pochettino fumes at Tottenham schedule|
|Cork set for Swansea switch|
|Hull left in the cold by local gas board|
|Ancelotti: No repeat of Ronaldo indiscretion|
|Murray signs Palace extension|
|Garcia: Roma will sign a replacement for Destro|
|Sassuolo v Inter: Ranocchia hopes turning point has come|
|Congo v Democratic Republic of Congo: Neighbours clash in AFCON quarter-final|
|Fletcher in West Ham talks|
|Tunisia v Equatorial Guinea: Favourites wary of hosts|
|Carrick to miss four weeks|
|Figo submits bid for FIFA presidency|
|Costa hit with three-match ban|
|Villa confirm Sinclair loan|
|Hull agree fee for N´Doye|
|Milan clubs should merge, says agent Raiola|
|Redknapp brands Fer speculation ´absolute rubbish´|
|Destro completes Milan move|
|Iraq 2 UAE 3: Khalil´s brace sees off Iraqis|
|Ward-Prowse signs Southampton deal|
|Mandanda: Marseille will turn it around|
|Fuchs backs Schalke goalkeeper Giefer to shine|
|Wenger unlikely to risk Sanchez, could start Gabriel|
|Newcastle would need ´ridiculous´ bid to sell Sissoko|
|Kramer sure of sustained Champions League challenge|
|Sturridge would have steered Liverpool to Wembley - Rodgers|
|South Korea claim underdog status|
|We can handle the pressure, says Postecoglou|
|Cheyrou joins Toronto|
|AFC boss rejects Australia expulsion claims|
|Australia v South Korea: Socceroos eyeing maiden Asian Cup|
|Wolfsburg plan Malanda tribute|
|Blanc: Ibrahimovic, Cavani need to improve partnership|
|NBA´s Kings invest in Sacramento Republic|
|Djukic slams Ronaldo as ´ugly and conceited´|
|Marcelino hails Villarreal´s historic achievement|
|Destro: I want to show Milan are great|
|Copa del Rey Review: Aduriz breaks drought to send Bilbao through|
|Blaszczykowski to miss Leverkusen clash|