Reds close in on last 16

Adelaide United and defending champions Pohang Steelers can qualify for the last 16 of the AFC Champions League with two games to spare if both win their Group H games on Tuesday night.

Adelaide United and defending champions Pohang Steelers can qualify for the last 16 of the AFC Champions League with two games to spare if both win their Group H games on Tuesday night.

The Australian outfit travels to Hiroshima Big Arch to face point-less Sanfrecce knowing a fourth consecutive win would virtually secure its progress in the continental competition, despite having finished bottom of the table in the recent Hyundai A-League season.

The 2008 beaten finalist is flourishing with the recent acquisitions of Marcos Flores, Sergio van Dijk, Nigel Boogaard and Adam Griffiths and will look to build on last week's last-gasp 3-2 win over the Japanese team at Hindmarsh Stadium.

"We are going into the game very confident, but we know Hiroshima will be hurting a lot from last week," said Reds midfielder Travis Dodd.

"They want to improve their performance and try to pick up a win for their fans as well, so it's going to be very difficult for us."

"They were very, very good last week, but we've come here to get three points so that we can guarantee the qualification."

Sanfrecce will be without the suspended Ilian Stoyanov after the defender was sent off last week as the visitors let slip a 2-1 second-half lead to crash to a third consecutive defeat.

"We need to win all three remaining matches to qualify for the next stage," said Sanfrecce striker Hisato Sato.

"We are not sure if we can qualify even if we do that, but we should focus on tomorrow's game first to keep our hopes alive."

Pohang, meanwhile, travels to Shandong Luneng and knows three points would send itself and Adelaide through with two games to spare.

Coach Waldemar Lemos rested several players for the weekend's defeat by FC Seoul in the K-League with the Brazilian keen to secure qualification for the last 16 at the earliest opportunity after beating Shandong 1-0 at home last week.

"We can't achieve a good result without careful preparations for this important match," he said ahead of the match at Shandong Sports Center.

"We have to go all out for the match against Shandong as it will be a very tough game."

After beating Sanfrecce at home in the first match, Shandong has suffered back-to-back defeats but coach Branko Ivankovic is confident of remaining in contention despite the absence of suspended midfielder Cui Peng.

"Our rivals will obviously be well prepared since they didn't make an all-out effort in their K-League match on Saturday," he said. "But I believe we are also ready to take the fight."

Shandong kicked off the new Chinese Super League season with a 4-2 win against Hangzhou Lucheng on Saturday.