The AFC Champions League 2018 quarterfinals has just been completed. Let's take a look at the action that unfolded:
Persepolis 3-1 Al Duhail (Aggr: 3-2) (Hosseini 57' Brake (OG) 76' Mensha 78' - Boudiaf 33')
Having lost the first leg 1-0, they looked doomed when Al Duhail took the lead on the night when Murad Naji’s free-kick bounced off Karim Boudiaf and went into the goal. However, Persepolis rallied after the half-time break.
First, a Persepolis corner ended up at the feet of skipper Seyed Jalal Hossein in the 57th minute and he made no mistake in finding the back of the net. Persepolis then drew level when Sultan Al Brake sent a hasty clearance off a cross straight into his own net.
Two minutes later, Persepolis had their winner when Godwin Mensha latched onto a long ball from Alireza Beiranvand and shrugged fof two defenders and scored to send the Iranians into the semifinal.
Al Sadd 2-2 Esteghlal (Aggr: 5-3) (Afif 27' Bounedjah 90+2' - Bagheri 32' Tabrizi 49')
Qatar's Al Sadd reached the semifinal of the AFC Champions League after a 2-2 draw at home to Esteghlal, with the aggregate score reading 5-3 in their favour.
Coming off a 3-1 win away, Al Sadd got off to the best possible start when Akram Afif lashed home Baghdad Bounedjah's lay-off in the box to make the aggregate score 4-1. Esteghlal's equaliser in the 32nd minute had some fortune about it as Rouhollah Bagheri's strike was fumbled by Aissa into his own net.
Then Morteza Tabrizi headed home a goal to make things interesting. But Bounedjah stepped up to score his 12th goal of the campaign in injury time to ensure Al Sadd won by a comfortable margin.
Tianjin Quanjian 0-3 Kashima Antlers (Aggr: 0-5) (Serginho 13' Abe 27' Doi 66')
Japan's Kashima Antlers romped into the semifinals of the AFC Champions League after a 3-0 win over Tianjin Quanjian in the second leg of their quarterfinal bout, with the aggregate score reading a comprehensive 5-0.
After a 2-0 win in the first leg at home, Kashima started the away fixture on the right note as Serginho nodded home a Yasushi Endo corner in the 13th minute. Atsuto Uchida then created the second goal 14 minutes later as cut-back from the flank was converted by Hiroki Abe.
With no fight from the Chinese side, Kashima made the result comprehensive in the 66th minute as when substitute Shoma Doi rifled into the top corner after a one-two with Serginho.
Suwon Bluewings 0-3 Jeonbuk Motors (Aggr: 3-3) (PSO: 4-2) (Adriano 11' Bo-Kyung 51' Shin-Wook 71')
South Korea's Jeonbuk Motors almost pulled off the unthinkable but were thwarted in the penalty shootout after a 3-0 win in the second leg against Suwon Bluewings that forced a shootout.
Suwon had won the first leg 3-0 but early signs pointed towards them enjoying a tough night. Adriano helped Jeonbuk cut down the deficit by scoring the opener on the night in the 11th minute.
After the half-time break, Jeonbuk came out doubly determined and scored another goal in the 51st minute. Choi Bo-kyung stooped to head in Lee Seung-gi’s inswinging corner at the near post to reduce the aggregate deficit to just a single goal.
Kim Shin-wook then headed home Lee Yong’s pinpoint cross from the right wing to level the scores on aggregate. They had a chance to win it in normal time when Adriano was hauled down inside the box in injury time. But his kick was saved by Shin to push the tie into extra-time and ultimately the shootout.
Shin saved the very first penalty of the shoot-out and, after Dejan Damjanovic, Adriano and Suwon’s Lee Ki-je had all converted, Shin repeated his heroics against Lee Dong-gook.
Kim Min-jae did score from the spot, but regardless it was left to Saric with the chance to win the game for the hosts and he duly did so.