Mariners remain in the hunt
Daniel McBreen scored twice as the Central Coast Mariners breathed new life into their AFC Champions League campaign with a 5-1 demolition of Tianjin Teda.
The Mariners led 2-0 at half-time following McBreen's double before Josh Rose, Michael McGlinchey and Mustafa Amini added their names to the scoresheet. The Chinese outfit replied late on through Liao Bochao. The Mariners went into the match propping up the Group G standings and needing a win to have any hope of qualifying for the next phase of the competition.
In the day's other Group G game, Seongnam Chunma and Nagoya Grampus remained locked together at the top of the standings after a 1-1 draw. Seongnam took the lead through Han Sang-woon after 11 minutes but Nagoya secured a point thanks to Park Jin-po's 72nd-minute own goal.
With one game remaining, Seongnam top the table on seven points, level with Nagoya, while the Mariners are a point back in third. Tuesday's results mean Tianjin cannot reach the knockout stage. Central Coast face Nagoya in the final round of group fixtures on May 15, while Seongnam face Tianjin.
In Group H, 10-man Jeonbuk Motors moved to the brink of qualification with a dramatic 3-1 win at Guangzhou Evergrande, who took the lead through a Dario Conca penalty after 10 minutes.
Lee Sung-hyun levelled for the visitors after 43 minutes but Jeonbuk were rocked by the 62nd-minute dismissal of Cho Sung-hwan for a second caution. Jeonbuk nevertheless secured the win thanks to Lee Dong-gook's 89th-minute strike, before the same player added gloss to the scoreline with a second in injury time.
In the group's other game, Kashiwa Reysol were 1-0 winners over Buriram United thanks to Leandro Domingues' 23rd-minute goal. Buriram played much of the match with 10 men after Yves Herman picked up a second yellow card in the 41st minute. The results leave Group H wide open, with all four teams in with a chance of qualifying in the final round of fixtures.
Jeonbuk lead the way on nine points and in their final game face third-placed Kashiwa, who are two points further back. Guangzhou are also on seven points in second place and face Buriram, who prop up the rest on six points but can still qualify.
A second-half goal by Youssef El Arabi guided Al Hilal to a 1-0 victory at Persepolis and the top of Group D in the AFC Champions League. Persepolis started the game top of the group with eight points from four games, two ahead of their visitors. However, El Arabi struck midway through the second half to give Al Hilal victory and leapfrog their hosts to lead the group by a point.
Al Gharafa claimed their first win of the group with a 2-1 victory over Al-Shabab. It was Al-Shabab who took the lead when Issa Mohamed struck in the 64th minute and it appeared they might have been on the brink of their first victory until Aruna Dindane scored nine minutes from time.
Othmane El Assas then converted a penalty two minutes later as Al Gharafa moved four points clear of their opponents who are rooted to the bottom of the group. Al-Ahly maintained their narrow lead over Sepahan at the top of Group C after both sides recorded 3-0 victories.
Abdul Al-Jizawi put Al-Ahly ahead against Lekhwiya after just eight minutes but they had to wait until just after the hour to double that lead through Oliveira Victor Simoes. Taisser Al-Jassam rounded off the scoring in the last minute.
Sepahan won by the same margin at bottom side Al-Nasr who ended the game with 10 men. Mehdi Karimian put the visitors ahead on the stroke of half-time and four minutes after the break the hosts' task became even harder when Abdallah Mousa was given a straight red card. Xhevahir Sukaj and substitute Mehdi Seyed-Salehi completed the scoring. Al-Ahly remain top of the standings thanks to the narrowest of goal differences while Al-Nasr are three points adrift of the bottom with just one victory.
Adelaide United secured their place in the last 16 despite being held to a goalless draw at home to Bunyodkor Tashkent. The Australian side top Group E by only a point, following Pohang Steelers' 2-0 win over Gamba Osaka, and are only three ahead of third-placed Bunyodkor. But with the second and third-placed teams playing each other in the final round of fixtures, only one or the other can match Adelaide's 10-point tally.
Pohang were made to wait until the 45th minute for their opening goal, Kim Jin-yong breaking the deadlock before Derek Asamoah's 77th-minute strike ended the Japanese side's hopes of a result - and of qualification.
Group F is a more clear-cut affair following a high-scoring day of action. FC Tokyo and Ulsan Hyundai will play off for top spot on May 16 after both comfortably wrapped up their qualification.
Tokyo enjoyed a 4-2 win over Australian champions Brisbane Roar, with the bulk of the scoring coming in the first half. Hideto Takahashi immediately cancelled out Besart Berisha's fourth-minute opener and Kenta Mukuhura put the Japanese side ahead in the 20th minute. Thomas Broich levelled but Kazuma Watanabe scored from a penalty a minute before half-time and secured victory on the hour.
Ulsan were 3-2 winners at Beijing Guoan, opening up a 2-0 first-half lead through Ko Seul-ki and Kim Seung-yong. Xizhe Zhang pulled a goal back shortly after half-time but Maranhao's 79th-minute goal proved crucial. Beijing had Reinaldo sent off in the 87th minute and, although they pulled a goal back in the last minute through Jiayi Shao, they remain winless in the group.
A hat-trick in the space of 26 first-half minutes by Ricardo Oliveira guided Al-Jazira to a comprehensive 4-1 victory over Nasaf Quarshi as they opened up a five-point gap at the top of Group A.
Al-Jazira had already qualified for the last 16 and the result illustrated the gap between them and the rest of the group. Jader Bari put the hosts ahead after just six minutes with Oliveira doubling the lead with a penalty nine minutes later. The Brazilian got his second after 33 minutes before completing his hat-trick with a penalty four minutes from the break. Ilhom Shamuradov pulled one back for the visitors (69) but it was nothing more than a consolation.
Al-Jazira have now won four and drawn one of their five games while Nasaf Quarshi are still searching for their first victory, having taken just one point so far.
Esteghlal moved into second with a 3-0 victory over Al Rayyan. An Arash Borhani penalty midway through the first half put them ahead with Esmaeil Sharifat (76) and a second from Borhani in the last minute rounding off victory.
It saw the hosts leapfrog Al Rayyan to lead by two points going into the final game with Esteghlal set to take on bottom side Nasaf Quarshi as they look to progress.
Al-Ittihad similarly underlined their dominance in Group B, also extending their lead at the top to five points thanks to a 2-1 win at 10-man Pakhtakor Tashkent. However, it took a last-minute goal by Mohammed Abusabaan to secure all three points.
Al-Ittihad took the lead through Ibrahim Hazzazi (60) but Irkali Klimiashvili equalised eight minutes later. Egor Krimets was given a straight red card just two minutes after that and eventually the visitors took full advantage with Abusabaan's late strike.
Bani Yas leapfrogged Pakhtakor with a 4-0 win at Al Arabi - who are still pointless with just one game left. Fawzi Basheer (17) and Francisco Yeste (40) gave the visitors a 2-0 half-time lead before Nawaf Mubarak (53) and Andre Senghor (77) wrapped up an easy victory. Bani Yas and Pakhtakor meet in the last game to decide who will progress with Al-Ittihad.