AFC: South Koreans dominate last eight field in Champions League (+video)
The Round of 16 in the 2011 AFC Champions League was completed over the last two days.
South Korea remains the strongest nation in the competition with three clubs representing the K-League in the quarter-final stages. K-League title holders FC Seoul defeated record Japanese champions Kashima Antlers by three goals to nil with goals from Hwan, Dejan Damjanović and Ko sealing their passage through to the last eight. Suwon Samsung Bluewings also got the better of Japanese opposition having put two goals without reply past defending J-League champions Nagoya Grampus Eight thanks to strikes from Yeom Ki-Hun and Lee Sang-Ho. The third K-League team to progress was Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors whose 3-0 win over Tianjin Teda means that China has no further representation in this year’s competition. A brace from Eninho and a further strike from Lee Seung-Hyun did the damage for Jeonbuk who hope to win a second Asian title in five years. In the all-Japanese affair there was a local derby in the city of Osaka with Cerezo FC getting the better of rivals Gamba FC with a lone strike from Daisuke Takahashi in the 88th minute giving Cerezo FC the bragging rights.
WATCH CEREZO OSAKA’S WINNING GOAL HERE:
Sepahan FC, recently crowned Iran Pro League champions, and Zob Ahan will represent their country in the last eight having got the better of Bunyodkor and Al-Nassr respectively. Bunyodkor, Uzbekistan champions for the last three years, have high ambitions in this tournament but they failed once again following a 3-1 defeat in the Iranian city of Isfahan. Januário, Ibrahima Touré and Hadi Aghili scored the goals for Sepahan with Slavoljub Đorđević grabbing a consolation for the visitors. Zob Ahan got the better of Saudi Arabian side Al-Nassr with Igor Castro bagging a brace in his side’s 4-1 win. It proved to be a poor showing from Saudi clubs overall with Al-Shabab and Al-Hilal also going out but whereas the former went out to Al-Sadd, who are the only Qatari side remaining in the competition, Al-Hilal at least had the ‘pleasure’ of losing to compatriots Al-Ittihad.
WATCH SEPAHAN FC v BUNYODKOR FC GOALS HERE:
The quarter-finals, the draw for which has yet to be made, are expected to be played over two legs in September.