The Round of 16 clashes in the AFC Champions League came to a close on Wednesday with the quarterfinals spots all taken. Here is a roundup of what happened:-
LEKHWIYA 0-1 PERSEPOLIS [Chico Flores (OG) 23']
Lekhwiya were dumped out of the AFC Champions League in unfortunate fashion as an own goal scored by Chico Flores sent Iran's Persepolis through to the quarterfinals.
After a 0-0 draw in the first leg, there was everything to play for but the game started in bizarre fashion for the Qatar champions. Persepolis' Vahid Amiri released Mehdi Taremi, whose low ball across goal was diverted into his own net by Flores in the 23rd minute, handing the Iranian outfit a crucial away goal. That meant Lekhwiya had no option but to score two goals and reverse the scoreline but were frustrated by a dogged Persepolis.
Lekhwiya dominated possession but were unable to fashion a breakthrough and Persepolis held on to complete a famous victory.
AL HILAL 2-1 ESTEGHLAL KHOUZESTAN [Kharbin 16' Al Dawsari 82' - Nong 12']
Al Hilal secured passage to the quarterfinals of the AFC Champions League after a 4-2 aggregate victory over Iran's Esteghlal Khouzestan, facilitated by a 2-1 win in the secind leg at home.
Esteghlal Khouzestan needed to score at least two goals in this tie to secure progression and began brightly. In the 12th minute, Mehdi Zobeidi squared for Aloys Nong to tap in spark hopes of an upset. However, those hopes were doused just four minutes later as Kharbin equalised with an unorthodox low header from Mohammed Al Burayk’s cross from the right. That goal seemed to have taken the heart out of the Iran team's cause.
Al Hilal started dominating the match and justly got their second goal in 82nd minute when Salem Al Dawsari burst into the box and fired into the roof of the net to seal the victory.
URAWA RED DIAMONDS 3-0 JEJU UNITED [Koroki 18' Lee 33' Moriwaki 114']
Japan's Urawa Red Diamonds scripted a sensational turnaround to overcome a 2-0 defeat from the first leg to advance to the quarterfinals with a 3-0 win in extra-time in the second leg on Wednesday.
Urawa enjoy a 100% record at home this season and they showed why by starting this game in the best possible way - a goal in the 18th minute. Shinzo Koroki headed home Yosuke Kashiwagi's deep freekick to sow seeds of doubt in the Jeju defence. 15 minutes later, they reaped the rewards with the second goal. Tadanari Lee found the net with a sharp finish from a tight angle to level the tie on aggregate. Jeju United showed defended stoutly for the remainder of the ninety minutes to force the tie into extra-time despite being reduced to 10 men in the 81st minute after Cho Yong-hyung was shown a second yellow card.
But with six minutes of extra-time remaining, Ryota Moriwaki sparked delirious scenes by converting Toshiyuki Takagi's cross. Tempers flared at the end and Baek Dong-gyu and substitute Kweon Hang-jin of Jeju were also dismissed. Meanwhile, Urawa will appear in the quarterfinals for the first time since 2008.
JIANGSU FC 2-3 SHANGHAI SIPG [Jeong-ho 75' Wu Xi 90+3' - Elkeson 34' Xiaotian (OG) 43' Hulk 90+4']
In the battle between the Chinese sides, it was Shanghai SIPG who came out all shining after a 3-2 second leg win gave them a 5-3 aggregate lead which has seen them progress to the quarterfinals.
After winning the first leg 2-1 at home, Shanghai seemed to be cruising at one point when Elkeson latched onto a through ball from Hulk before prodding home in the 34th minute. Just before half-time, Yang Xiaotian inadvertently turned Elkeson's dink over the goalkeeper into his own net to give Shanghai a breathing space. However, Jiangsu showed some fight late on to reduce the deficit with a goal in the 75th minute and one in injury time. Hong Jeong-ho headed home the first before Wu Xi equalised on the night with just minutes remaining on the clock.
However, Shanghai were still a goal to the good and made it two as Hulk struck in the very next minute to seal the win.