Marquinhos sparks Kashima Antlers

J. League champion Kashima Antlers moved within a point of the knockout stage of the Asian Champions League after striker Marquinhos scored twice to record a comfortable 3-0 win over South Korea's Suwon Bluewings in Group G on Tuesday.

J. League champion Kashima Antlers moved within a point of the knockout stage of the Asian Champions League after striker Marquinhos scored twice to record a comfortable 3-0 win over South Korea's Suwon Bluewings in Group G on Tuesday.

Go Oiwa opened the scoring for the home side before Marquinhos grabbed his first before half-time. The Brazilian sealed a regulation win in the closing stages as Kashima gained revenge for the 4-1 defeat in March.

Kashima now needs just a point from its final game against Shanghai Shenhua at Hongkou Stadium to seal their passage to the last 16.

Shanghai Shenhua saw its challenge for a place in the last 16 of the competition suffer an unexpected setback when it needed a stoppage-time equaliser from Hernan Barcos to salvage a 1-1 draw against lowly Singapore Armed Forces.

Meanwhile, FC Seoul kept alive its slim hopes of reaching the last 16 of the Asian Champions League after recovering from a shock Sriwijaya equaliser to post a comprehensive 5-1 Group F victory at Seoul World Cup Stadium.

Dejan Damjanovic netted a hat-trick and Sim Woo-yeon grabbed a brace. Keith Gumbs briefly gave the Indonesians hope of picking up their first point of the campaign but the K-League side's superior class eventually told.

Seoul are now level on points with second-placed Shandong Luneng, who host Gamba Osaka on Wednesday.

Prince Tagoe scored twice as Ettifaq of Saudi Arabia trounced Uzbek champions Bunyodkor 4-0 at the Prince Mohammed Bin Fahad Stadium in Dammam to advance to the knockout stage of the Asian Champions League.

The Ghanian struck twice in the first half to put the home side in control before goals after the break by Saleh Bashar and Waleed Al Rajaa ensured that the Saudi side finished top of Group D.

In the other match in the group, Al Shabab edged 10-man Sepahan 2-1 at the Al Maktoum Stadium to keep alive the Emarati side's hope of reaching the knockout stage of the Asian Champions League.

Zimbabwean Musawenkosi Mguni scored one and set up the other as Al Shabab secured only its second win in five games.

Sepahan, who had Ebrahim Lovinian dismissed in the first half, pulled one back through Emad Mohammed Ridha but the Iranian side were unable to find an equaliser.

Esteghlal's Asian Champions League hopes came to an end with a costly home 1-1 draw with Al Ittihad.

The hosts looked set for a third defeat in Group C after Al Ittihad took the lead through Hicham Aboucherouane after 80 minutes but substitute Ali Alizadeh equalised at the death.

The point was not enough to keep Esteghlal's continental campaign alive but ensured Al Ittihad strengthen its place at the top of the standings.

In the other match, Al Jazira of the United Arab Emirates missed out on a place in the last 16 after letting a two-goal lead slip against Umm Salal at the Qatar Sports Club Stadium in Doha.

Needing a win to keep alive its hopes of hopes of reaching the knockout stage, the Abu Dhabi side raced into a 2-0 lead at half-time with goals by Marcio Rozario and Fernando Nelo.

But Bahrain striker Alaa Hubail struck twice in 11 minutes in the second half to earn the Qatari side a point, which sent them through to the next round with group leaders Al Ittihad of Saudi Arabia.

A Ma Leilei brace helped Tianjin Teda record an historic first-ever victory in the Asian Champions League as the Chinese side defeated Kawasaki Frontale at Tianjin Teda Stadium.

Ma scored in the 11th and 18th minutes and Damiano Tommasi also netted for the hosts while Renatinho grabbed a consolation strike for Kawasaki.