Mariners' hopes fade

The Central Coast Mariners' chances of qualification to the knockout phase of the Asian Champions League took a blow after the Pohang Steelers drew with Tianjin Teda.

The Central Coast Mariners' chances of qualification to the knockout phase of the Asian Champions League took a blow after the Pohang Steelers were held to a goalless draw by Group H rivals Tianjin Teda of the Chinese Super League.

The result moved second-placed Pohang onto six points - four clear of bottom-placed Central Coast - with two matches remaining in the qualification round.

Brazilian striker Denilson hit the post with 13 minutes to go, but that was as close as the South Korean side would go to grabbing all three points.

Third-placed Tianjin is also on two points after the draw.

Alejandro Cichero scored 10 minutes from time to earn Shandong Luneng a 1-1 draw with host FC Seoul to keep its challenge for a place in the second round on track.

Park Yong-ho's first-half header put the hosts ahead at Seoul World Cup Stadium only for the Venezuelan defender to score and allow his side to pick up a draw that moves it onto seven points from four games.

Timur Kapadze's 19th-minute header saw Bunyodkor edge out Sepahan 1-0 at the Foolad Shahr Stadium to boost its hopes of qualification from Group D.

Gamba Osaka sealed its place in the knockout stages with a convincing 3-0 victory over Indonesian side Sriwijaya at Jaka Baring Stadium.

Goals from Leandro, Hayato Sasaki and substitute Cho Jae-jin were enough to complete a fourth consecutive Group F victory for the defending champion.

Ettifaq closed in on a spot in the last 16 as a hat-trick from Ghanaian striker Prince Tagoe saw the Saudi Arabian side come from behind to trounce United Arab Emirates league champions Al Shabab Al Arabi 4-1.

Brazilian Marcos Assuncao gave the home side an early lead at the Al Maktoum Stadium in Dubai but Tagoe hit back before the break and added two more in the second half before substitute Abdulrahman Al Qahtani completed the rout.

Al Shabab moved three points clear at the top of Group B as Nassir Al Shamrani netted a hat-trick in a 5-0 rout of Sharjah that saw the UAE side eliminated from the tournament.

Al Gharafa revived its hopes of reaching the knockout stage for the first time as a hat-trick by Clemerson de Araujo helped the Qatar league champions hammer Iranian side Piroozi 5-1 at Al Gharafa Stadium.

The Qatari side entered the Group B match knowing that defeat could end its hopes of qualifying for the last 16 but Clemerson's heroics and further goals by Fernando da Costa and Nashat Akram saw them close the gap to Piroozi to just a single point.