Saitama (Japan) (AFP) – Japan’s Urawa Red Diamonds qualified for the quarter-finals of the Asian Champions League thanks to a 5-0 defeat of Malaysia’s Johor Darul Ta’zim at home on Friday.
All of the East Zone knockout matches are played in Urawa’s hometown of Saitama, and the two-time champions took full advantage in front of their raucous fans.
Denmark’s Alexander Scholz gave them an eight-minute lead from the penalty spot before Sweden striker David Moberg Karlsson added two more before half-time and substitute Kasper Junker netted a late brace.
Urawa joined fellow Japanese Vissel Kobe in the last eight, while Thailand’s BG Pathum United also progressed with a 4-0 win over Hong Kong’s Kitchee earlier in the day.
South Korea’s Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors completes the line-up for the East Zone quarter-finals, with the draw to be made on Saturday.
Ambitious Malaysians JDT were appearing in the Champions League Round of 16 for the first time, but Urawa put them on their feet early on when Scholz converted from the spot.
Moberg doubled Urawa’s lead with a free kick into the top corner, before the Swede netted another after a shrewd attacking move.
Danish substitute Junker scored twice after coming on in the 76th minute to seal a resounding victory.
Earlier today, BG Pathum ended Kitchee’s fairytale run in the Champions League with a comprehensive win.
Kitchee became the first Hong Kong side to reach the knockout round of Asia’s top club competition after a last-minute equalizer in their final group game in May sealed their place.
But BG Pathum proved too strong in the round of 16, with Worachit Kanitsribampen and Ikhsan Fandi scoring first-half goals for the Thai side before Teerasil Dangda and Chatmongkol Thongkiri added more after the break.
Kitchee gave BG Pathum their first goal in the 34th minute after a goalkeeper howl.
Wang Zhenpeng completely missed a routine clearance after a long ball forward, and a grateful Worachit tapped home into an empty net.
Ikhsan doubled BG Pathum’s lead five minutes later with a superb strike from the edge of the box after beating two Kitchee defenders.
Teerasil made it three when he tapped in at the back post in the 68th minute before Chatmongkol completed the scoring with a fresh finish three minutes from time.