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AFC Champions League: Chinese club through to Quarter-Finals on away goals


05-26-2016 15:48 BJT

Start off in Australia, with Chinese Super League side Shandong Luneng traveling to the Land Down Under for the second leg of their AFC Champions League Round of 16 showdown with Sydney FC.

After battling to a 1-1 draw in the PRC, there was very little to separate the two teams, and the Orange Fighters knew they would need to push hard for valuable away goals, in order to reach the Quarter-Finals of the continental competition.

AFC Champions League: Chinese club through to Quarter-Finals on away goals

AFC Champions League: Chinese club through to Quarter-Finals on away goals

With SIPG advancing on Tuesday, Shandong come in looking to join the Shanghai side in the next round. But they would have to do so without their defender Gil, who has gone back to Brazil ahead of the Copa America.

Sydney jump out to an early lead off a free-kick in the second minute. Brandon O'Neill sends it into the box where it continues untouched into the net, giving the Australian hosts a 1-0 advantage. The defense can't clear the danger, and in goes the ball.

Luneng equalize in the 11th minute thanks to a quick move from Diego Tardelli, who create space and cuts it back for Walter Montillo, who slots the ball into the far corner to tie things at 1-1.

The Sky Blues retake the lead just thirty seconds into the second half, when Milos Ninkovic shows control before lobbing a great ball to Rhyan Grant, who one-times a volley into the far side of the net. That puts the hosts up 2-1 in the match, and 3-2 on aggregate.

In the 76th minute, the Orange Fighters are awarded a penalty when Sydney's Zac Anderson drags down Yang Xu in the box, and the Australian is shown a red card.

But Tardelli's spot kick is saved by Vedran Janjetovic, and the Shandong striker then clangs the rebound off the crossbar.

The home side look like they will hang on, until Hao Junmin silences the home crowd with this blast from distance. An amazing strike, and the match ends in a 2-2 draw, which means Luneng win on away goals, and are moving on to the Quarter-Finals.

"We were well-prepared mentally, and physically and we were stronger than our opponents in the second half. My players showed their spirit in this game, and the result put us into the Last Eight. This is a milestone for the club," said Mano Menezes, Shandong Luneng coach.

Elsewhere, the clash between FC Seoul and Urawa Red Diamonds ended up 3-3 on aggregate, after the Korean club won the Second Leg 3-2. That meant a penalty shootout, which is where Kim Dong-Woo's decisive spot kick sent the K-Leaguers through 7-6.

So here are the final eight teams. In the East, China's SIPG and Shandong Luneng are joined by South Korea's Seoul and Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors. In the West Zone, it's El Jaish from Qatar, Al-Ain and Al-Nasr of the UAE, and Lokomotiv Tashkent from Uzbekistan.

The Quarter-Finals will get underway in August, with the draw taking place on June 9th in Kuala Lumpur.

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