Bunyodkor bows out

Bunyodkor once again saw its bid for AFC Champions League glory brought to a premature end as it slumped to a 3-0 defeat at Al Hilal.

Bunyodkor once again saw its bid for AFC Champions League glory brought to a premature end as it slumped to a 3-0 defeat at Al Hilal.

Luiz Felipe Scolari’s side had reached the semi-finals in 2008 and then the quarter-finals last year but a stuttering campaign this time round was brought to a halt at the last-16 stage as goals from Majed Al Marshadi, Christian Wilhelmsson and Thiago Neves sent Al Hilal through to the quarter-finals.

The Uzbeks were chasing the game from the eighth minute when Al Marshadi headed home and though they rallied towards the end of the half, they were unable to find an equaliser before the break.

That proved costly as Wilhelmsson drove home in the 56th minute before Thiago slotted in four minutes later to secure the win.

Meanwhile, substitute Igor Castro headed home with six minutes remaining to send Zobahan through to the quarter-finals at the expense of 10-man Mes Kerman at Foolad Shahr Stadium.

Chances were at a premium throughout the all-Iran affair but Mes’ hopes of snatching victory had been dealt a blow when Abolghasem Dehnavi was sent off in first-half stoppage time.

It looked as though it had done enough to send the game into extra time, but Igor was left unmarked inside the box for an 84th-minute corner and rose to send a looping header into the far corner of the goal with Ghanizadeh Hamidreza unable to clear off the line.

Lee Dong-guk scored in extra time to send Jeonbuk Motors through to the last eight as the South Koreans defeated Adelaide United 3-2 at Hindmarsh Stadium.

The visitors opened the scoring in the 37th minute when Eninho slotted home from a Sim Woo-yeon pass.

United was unable to find a response until the 78th minute when Robert Cornthwaite headed home from Cassio’s corner only for Eninho to put Jeonbuk ahead once again with four minutes remaining.

It looked as though that goal would be enough to secure the win for the Koreans in normal time but Sergio van Dijk bundled the ball home in the 94th minute to send the game into extra time.

But Jeonbuk recovered from that disappointment to grab the winner when former Middlesbrough striker Lee fired home from Pak Won-jae’s cross.

Jeonbuk was joined in the last eight by fellow South Korean side Pohang Steelers after the defending champions defeated Kashima Antlers 1-0 at Kashima Soccer Stadium.

Mota got the game’s only goal in the 29th minute when the Brazilian was left unmarked by the Kashima defence and he struck a shot from Almir’s pass into the back of the net.

Pohang showed no negative effects from the sacking of coach Waldemar Lemos days prior to the game as it produced a professional performance to hold on to its lead and secure its passage to the quarter-finals.