Saitama (Japan) (AFP) – Japan’s Urawa Red Diamonds booked their place in the Asian Champions League quarter-finals with a 5-0 rout of Malaysia’s Johor Darul Ta’zim on home turf Friday.
All of the East zone’s knockout matches are being played in Urawa’s home city of Saitama and the two-time champions took full advantage in front of their vociferous supporters.
Dane Alexander Scholz gave them an eight-minute lead from the penalty spot before Swedish striker David Moberg Karlsson added two more before half-time and substitute Kasper Junker bagged a late double.
Urawa joined fellow Japanese side 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 complete 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 knockout round for the first time but Urawa put them on the back foot early on when Scholz converted from the spot.
Moberg doubled Urawa’s lead with a free kick into the top corner, before the Swede notched another after a slick attacking move.
Danish substitute Junker scored twice after coming on in the 76th minute to set the seal on a commanding victory.
Earlier in the day, BG Pathum ended Kitchee’s fairytale Champions League run with a comprehensive win.
Kitchee became the first team from Hong Kong to reach the knockout round of Asia’s top club competition after a last-gasp equaliser 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 gifted BG Pathum their opening goal in the 34th minute after a goalkeeping howler.
Wang Zhenpeng completely fluffed 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 stunning 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 rounded off the scoring with a cool finish three minutes from time.
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