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'
|Cisse apologises for spitting incident|
|Parkinson relishing Reading reunion|
|Suarez set for Anfield return|
|Toulouse deny Casanova replacement rumours|
|Reus remains a doubt for Hamburg clash|
|Evans denies spitting at Cisse|
|Robinho recalled to Brazil squad|
|Athletic Bilbao v Real Madrid: Ancelotti wants reaction|
|Milan v Verona: Hosts seek response|
|Hamburg v Borussia Dortmund: Resurgent visitors face bogey team|
|Lacazette: Lyon may sell for right price|
|Hannover v Bayern Munich: Champions prepared for battle|
|Paris Saint-Germain v Lens: David Luiz calls for focus|
|Cisse appointed Senegal coach|
|Bundesliga Preview: Immobile out to impress as Dortmund target top half|
|Ligue 1 Preview: Lyon aim to bounce back, PSG ready to pounce|
|La Liga Preview: Simeone looks to Torres, Real seek response|
|League Two Preview: Ainsworth keen to take pressure off, Burton seek return to winning ways|
|Busquets to miss Rayo clash|
|Championship Preview: Watford out for three wins in a week|
|League One Preview: Freeman issues rallying call to leaders|
|Gutierrez return lifted St James´ Park - Carver|
|Balotelli: ´Someone doesn´t like me´|
|Poyet charged by FA after Bruce spat|
|Sanchez resilience delights Wenger|
|Blanc brushes off PSG treble talk|
|Toure, Bony struggling with AFCON fatigue, claims Pellegrini|
|Gomis offers assurances over health|
|Emre can become world-class - Rodgers|
|Reid signs new West Ham deal|
|CONCACAF Champions League Review: America, Alajuelense advance|
|Magath open to Rangers role|
|Copa Libertadores Review: Corinthians preserve perfect record|
|MLS and players union reach agreement|
|Wenger hails Giroud´s mental strength|
|We didn´t give Espanyol a chance - Valverde|
|Benteke eyeing FA Cup glory|
|Serie A Preview: Inzaghi under pressure, Roma eye win|
|Sturridge: ´I am ready to play every game´|
|Luis Enrique coy on Busquets injury|
|Dyche realistic after Anfield loss|
|Hughes: Stoke evolution is ahead of schedule|
|DFB-Pokal Review: Bayern through, Bremen upset|
|Championship Review: Wigan boost survival hopes, Blackpool´s misery continues|
|Matuidi sets sights on PSG quadruple|
|Allardyce: Big calls went against West Ham|
|Van Gaal defends Evans amid spitting furore|
|Pearson calls for video technology after City snubs|
|Rodgers hails Henderson impact|
|Pochettino proud of Tottenham response|
|Kluivert appointed Curacao coach|
|´Devastated´ Carver slams referee for penalty gaffe|
|Hero Hazard thrills Mourinho|
|Benitez praises Napoli ´intensity´|
|Mourinho laughs off bizarre Matic injury|
|Gutierrez grateful for reception after beating cancer|
|Pellegrini explains Kompany omission|
|Guardiola underlines respect for beaten Braunschweig|
|Second-half display pleases Wenger as Arsenal maintain top-three place|
|Martinez wants united front at struggling Everton|
|Espanyol 0 Athletic Bilbao 2 (1-3 agg): Basque club into final|
|QPR cannot keep relying on Austin, says Ramsey|
|´No problems whatsoever´ with Gomis|
|Celtic 0 St Johnstone 1: Swanson stunner shocks leaders|
|Tottenham 3 Swansea 2: Spurs bounce back from Wembley loss|
|Liverpool 2 Burnley 0: Sturridge celebrates starting return with goal|
|PSG 2 Monaco 0: Hosts sail into semi-finals|
|Newcastle United 0 Manchester United 1: Last-gasp Young strike gives visitors dramatic win|
|Lazio 1 Napoli 1: Gabbiadini on hand to spare holders´ blushes|
|Manchester City 2 Leicester City 0: Champions bounce back|
|West Ham 0 Chelsea 1: Hazard wins it for the leaders|
|QPR 1 Arsenal 2: Second-half improvement seals victory for Wenger´s men|
|Stoke City 2 Everton 0: Moses and Diouf do the damage for Hughes´ men|
|Bayern Munich 2 Eintracht Braunschweig 0: Holders ease into quarter-finals|
|Gutierrez makes comeback after beating cancer|
|Blatter calls for points deductions to punish racism|
|Evian 1 Lorient 0: N´Sikulu extends hosts´ run|
|Villarreal 1 Barcelona 3 (2-6 agg): Busquets blow sours Copa progression|
|Eredivise Preview: Schreuder issues Twente rallying call, PSV hoping to return to form|
|Barca sweat over Busquets injury|
|Gomis collapses during Tottenham game, Swansea confirm he is ´stable´|
|Ban lifted on Greek Super League action|
|AFC Champions League Review: Zeng injury overshadows Guangzhou win|
|Orlando draw up Walt Disney World link|
|Pearson pragmatic over handling of Premier League ´sideshows´|
|Robertson targeting first-team run|
|Dortmund breathe sigh of relief over Reus injury|
|Bayern can´t be caught, claims Hoffenheim chief|
|Lahm will ´definitely´ end career at Bayern|
|Pele: Brazil should copy Germany for Copa America glory|
|Dynamo hit with partial stadium ban after crowd trouble|
|Dani Alves close to Barca exit - agent|
|Injuries fail to dampen Montella´s Coppa excitement|
|Boateng turned down Barca offer|
|Atalanta replace Colantuono with Reja|
|Pogba to return against Fiorentina, Allegri confirms|
|Don´t make Costa angry, warns Allardyce|
|Pochettino wants end-of-season break for Kane|
|MLS 2015 Preview: Galaxy target defence as new boys welcome marquee signings|
|Debt-riddled Twente cop three-point penalty|
|Gladbach targeting DFB Pokal glory|
|Montreal Impact 1 Pachuca 1 (agg 3-3): Hosts through on away goals|
|Zouma can replace Terry - Mourinho|
|Copa Libertadores Review: Universitario, Libertad notch first wins|
|RB Leipzig´s attack worrying Wolfsburg|
|Jardim backs busy Monaco|
|De Boer: ´I´d only sign for an interesting club´|
|Martinez calls for unity|
|A-League Preview: Phoenix staying grounded|
|Danish FA agree to more pay negotiations|
|Rodgers feared sack before ´radical´ change|
|Chelsea turned Valencia´s head - Allardyce|
|Poyet spat was not a good look - Bruce|
|Gold ´hopeful´ over Reid deal|
|´No problem´ with Bruce, says Poyet|
|Sherwood confident in Villa upturn after derby win|
|Pulis stands by Foster after costly error|
|Boulogne 1 Saint-Etienne 1 (aet, 3-4 on penalties): Minnows´ run ends on penalties|
|Schalke want to buy Nastasic|
|Pardew feeling hard done by after Southampton defeat|
|Football League Review: Boro go top as Derby falter again|
|Koeman pleased with ´crucial´ victory|
|Agbonlahor eyes turnaround as Villa end wait for win|
|Equaliser at Hull hit my arm - Rodwell|
|Reus injury ´only a dead leg´|
|Lyon hope for long Lacazette stay|
|DFB-Pokal Review: Leverkusen shake off old foes Kaiserslautern|
|Aston Villa 2 West Brom 1: Benteke on the spot as Villa win at last|
|Hull City 1 Sunderland 1: Rodwell earns visitors a draw in dramatic encounter|
|Southampton 1 Crystal Palace 0: Mane wins it late on|
|Dynamo Dresden 0 Borussia Dortmund 2: Reus withdrawal overshadows Pokal progression|
|Bruce and Poyet clash in ugly touchline spat|
|Dortmund star Reus in new injury scare|
|Lyon success a source of pride for Gonalons|
|Juventus v Fiorentina: Allegri seeking improvement|
|Edu hails ´phenomenon´ Sanchez|
|´Huge money´ needed to take Cech away - Mourinho|
|Lazio v Napoli: Benitez calls for unity in trophy quest|
|West Ham´s Cole landed with FA charge|
|Leeds fan group want meeting with Hollywood star Crowe|
|Suso prepared to wait for Milan chance|
|Ashley fined £7,500 for influence in Rangers|
|Blanc praises Luiz´s versatility|
|Pochettino: League Cup heartbreak will help Spurs grow|
|Carver understands frustration with Van Gaal|
|AFC Champions League Review: Jeonbuk and Kashiwa win convincingly|
|Guardiola committed to Bayern amid City rumours|
|Hughes: Bruce is defending the indefensible|
|Espanyol v Athletic Bilbao: Stuani eyeing ´momentous´ cup final|
|Everton waiting on Baines fitness|
|I am not under pressure, Pellegrini insists|
|Guardiola demands focus ahead of Braunschweig clash|
|Van Gaal: Di Maria needs a year to settle|
|Luis Enrique vows to attack Villarreal|
|Jedinak hit with four-game ban|
|Mourinho guarantees Terry deal|
|Mowbray lands Coventry job|
|Strootman on schedule for Roma return|
|Mikel out for a month after surgery|
|Palace midfielder Jedinak accepts FA charge|
|Wigan chairman Whelan stands down, hands reins to 23-year-old grandson|
|Jedinak stays quiet on FA charge|
|England winger Johnson released on bail|
|Gareca signs four-year Peru deal|
|Sandro set for QPR return|
|Hull dealt Brady blow|
|Garcia going nowhere, insists Pallotta|
|Allardyce: Chelsea aren´t allowed to be off form|
|Arsenal boosted by Ramsey return|
|No early Barca return for Tello|
|Pirlo inspired stunning Tevez free-kick|
|Brunt vows to heap misery on Villa|
|Barry: Everton needs points on the board to avoid relegation scrap|
|Janmaat hails ´fantastic´ Van Gaal|
|Cahill vows to silence critics|
|Spurs legend Mackay passes away|
|Adrian: I get good results against Mourinho|
|Hoffenheim boss wary of rising expectations|
|Sturridge edging closer to his best - Rodgers|
|Kroos happy with deeper role|
|Terry ´fighting´ for Chelsea contract|
|Townsend: No excuses for Tottenham|
|Garcia applauds Roma´s ´magnificent´ comeback|