Griffiths fires for Beijing

Former Newcastle Jets star Joel Griffiths was among Beijing Guoan's best players as it completed its Asian Champions League campaign with a 1-1 draw at home to Group E winner Nagoya Grampus at Beijing Workers Stadium.

Former Newcastle Jets star Joel Griffiths was among Beijing Guoan's best players as it completed its Asian Champions League campaign with a 1-1 draw at home to Group E winner Nagoya Grampus at Beijing Workers Stadium.

The visitors took the lead in the 33rd minute when Oribe Niikawa drove home a rebound before Guo Hui cancelled out the strike with a late goal.

Beijing finished the game with 10 men after Lang Zheng was dismissed in the final minute.

The hosts were already out of contention to reach the knockout stage before the game but they made a spirited start to this encounter.

Du Wenhui thought he had put Beijing ahead 13 minutes into the game when he was sent clear by Griffiths at the far post but the unmarked striker clipped the ball against the left post from 10 yards.

Beijing continued its onslaught but was unable to any create clear-cut chances.

The visitors showed their hosts how it was done by taking the lead shortly after the half-hour mark.

Sho Hanai won a free-kick for Nagoya 30 yards from goal after he was challenged by Zhou Ting. The midfielder then curled a powerful shot that goalkeeper Zhang Sipeng tipped onto the left post but Oribe Niikawa beat defender Xu Yunlong to the rebound.

Tomohiro Tsuda then had the ball in the net just before the break but he had strayed offside.

The hosts started the second half as they had the first, with Nagoya defending in numbers to keep the strikers at bay.

Griffiths was proving a constant threat to the opposing defence and headed Zhu Yifan's cross just wide on the hour mark.

But Beijing grabbed an equaliser nine minutes before the final whistle when Guo Hui picked up a cross from Zhou Ting, turned and calmly fired past the goalkeeper.

The hosts suffered a late setback when defender Lang was sent off for a second bookable offence in stoppage time for a reckless challenge on Keita Sugimoto.

Indonesia's Sriwijaya scored four times in the second half to stun Shandong Luneng 4-2 with its first win in Group F to eliminate the Chinese Super League champion from the Asian Champions League.

After South Korea's FC Seoul earlier beat group winners Gamba Osaka 2-1 in Japan, Shandong knew it had to beat Sriwijaya, which had failed to collect a point in its previous five Group F games, at the Jaka Baring Stadium to advance to the last 16.

And after surviving early pressure from the home side, Shandong looked on course to set up a meeting with Kashima Antlers in the one-off second round in Japan on June 24 after Han Peng and Gao Di scored at the end of the first half.

Han opened the scoring three minutes before the break after skipper Jiao Zhe stepped over Li Wei's low cross on the edge of the area and the striker swivelled and fired low across Sriwijaya goalkeeper Feri Rotinsulu and into the bottom corner.

The visitors doubled their lead a minute later as Gao gambled on a long ball forward, beat Mohammad Mauly Lessy to the knockdown from Han before calmly clipping his effort underneath the advancing Rotinsulu.

Sriwijaya had scored only three goals and conceded 22 in losing its previous five games and captain Keith Gumbs struck what appeared to be a consolation for Sriwijaya eight minutes after the break as the St Kitts striker surged forward, skipped round the advancing goalkeeper and turned the ball across the line just in time as two defenders attempted to cover.

But after 73 minutes Zah Rahan Krangar collected a pass inside the area and shot across goal and despite Shandong goalkeeper Li Leilei managing to get a hand to the low strike, it had too much power and found the bottom corner to level the contest and leave the visitors stunned.

Worse was to come for Shandong seven minutes later as the visiting defence failed to deal with a ball inside the area and it broke for Liberian midfielder Krangar on the edge of the six-yard area and he had the simplest of tasks of firing high into the empty net.

And with three minutes remaining Muhammad Nasuha sealed the stunning win as he rifled past Li from inside the area to send Seoul through to meet the Antlers next month for a place in the quarter-finals and leave Shandong shell-shocked.

Kim Han-yoon's stoppage-time goal gave FC Seoul a 2-1 victory over defending champion Gamba Osaka in the sixth and final match of Group F in the Asian Champions League at Expo '70 Commemoration Park Stadium.

The hosts had taken the lead in the 64th minute when 17-year-old Takashi Usami scored his first professional goal.

However, Dejan Damjanovic equalised 10 minutes later before Kim struck late on to end Gamba's unbeaten run in the tournament.

Saudi Arabia's Al Hilal secured top spot in Group A and home advantage in the last 16 of the Asian Champions League after easing to a 2-0 win over a lacklustre Pakhtakor of Uzbekistan in Riyadh.

Both teams had already secured passage to the second round with Pakhtakor only needing a point at the King Fahd International Stadium to top the group, but Al Hilal deservedly claimed the win it needed to set up a favourable meeting with Qatar's Umm Salal in Riyadh next Wednesday.

The Uzbek side, which has advanced to the knockout stage of the competition for the first time since 2004, meanwhile, will return to Saudi Arabia next week to face a testing meeting with Group D winners Ettifaq in Damman to fight for a place in the quarter-finals in the one-off knockout showdown.

Saba Battery battled back from three goals down to secure its first win in this year's Asian Champions League with a 5-3 victory over Al Ahli at Al Rashid Stadium.

Penalties from Salem Khamis and Ali Al Hawasin and a Milad Midavoodi strike had put the hosts into a commanding 3-0 lead by the 66th minute.

But Saba responded as first skipper Fereidoun Fazli scored in the 68th minute and two goals in the space of a minute from Shahin Shafiei and Mohammad Nori levelled the scores.

Mohsen Yousefi then struck late on before Mohammad Hamrang scored to round off the stunning fightback and secure all three points and ensure Saba finishes third in Group A.

A goal by Piroozi's Mohsin Khalili early in the second half edged out Saudi Arabia's Al Shabab 1-0 and clinched first place in Group B of the Asian Champions League.

Khalili turned the ball into the net following a corner less than a minute after the restart to give the Tehran side victory at the Azadi Stadium.

It meant Al Shabab was knocked off top spot and Piroozi secured a home match against Bunyodkor of Uzbekistan in the round of 16 next week.

Both teams finished level on seven points but Al Shabab lost out on head-to-head results and must visit Jeddah to face Saudi league rivals Al Ittihad in the last 16.