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Wednesday, May 22, 2013
Guangzhou through to last eight

Marcello Lippi's expensively-assembled Guangzhou Evergrande side booked their place in the AFC Champions League quarter-finals by completing a 5-1 aggregate win over Central Coast Mariners.

The Australian outfit - recently crowned A-League champions for the first time - were already trailing 2-1 and Brazilian midfielder Muriqui ensured their hopes of reaching the last eight were further diminished with a goal inside seven minutes.

Seven-million-pound midfielder Dario Conca then extended the Chinese club's lead from the penalty spot in first-half stoppage time at the Tianhe Stadium before setting up Gao Lin for a third goal and a killer blow with 22 minutes remaining.

Kashiwa Reysol sealed their progression with a 5-2 aggregate win over South Korean club Jeonbuk Motors.

Jeonbuk - who lost 2-0 in last week's home leg - took the lead thanks to Tatsuya Masushima's own goal in the 22nd minute but the Japanese side levelled with a Hirofumi Watanabe diving header two minutes before the break.

Jorge Wagner then found the target in the 51st minute with Masato Kudo scoring 20 minutes before full-time. Jeonbuk's Belgian forward Kevin Oris, however, did add some respectability to the scoreline on the night with a goal in the 87th minute.

Al Hilal threatened to knock Lekhwiya out of the tournament with a spirited comeback but the Qatari club held on to reach the quarter-finals with a 3-2 aggregate victory.

Eric Gerets' men wasted no time in improving their narrow 1-0 advantage from the first leg in Saudi Arabia, with Issiar Dia (15) and Mohamed Musa (52) scoring to triple the lead at the Lekhwiya Sports Stadium.

Al Hilal hit back in the 64th minute, though, when Salman Al Faraj converted Salem Al Dawsari's pass, and the Saudis were level when Mohammad Al Shalhoub scored a penalty 12 minutes from time.

But the Qatari League runners-up successfully navigated a frantic finale to keep their name in the hat for the quarter-final draw in Kuala Lumpur on June 20, where they will be joined by representatives from Esteghlal.

The Iranians could not be separated from Dubai outfit Al Shabab in a goalless draw in Tehran but the hosts progressed by virtue of their 4-2 first-leg win.




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