08.04.2015 17:06 h

Reds put Beijing march on hold

Tomoaki Makino
Tomoaki Makino

Struggling Urawa Red Diamonds denied Beijing Guoan a place in the AFC Champions League last 16 on Wednesday as Shandong Luneng and Kashiwa Reysol played out an eight-goal thriller.

Urawa were hosting Chinese league-leaders Beijing on the back of three straight defeats, and they were flirting with elimination after Yu Dabao's tap-in on 33 minutes.

But the Japanese side grabbed a lifeline in front of their home fans in Saitama when Tomoaki Makino headed them level in the 74th minute for a 1-1 draw.

Beijing's Lang Zheng was sent off in the dying minutes after an altercation with Tadanari Lee, but Lee then missed a gilt-edged opportunity to win it in stoppage time.

The draw kept Urawa last in Group G with their first point, while Beijing remained top with 10 points, three ahead of Suwon Samsung, who beat Australia's Brisbane Roar 3-1.

After a scoreless first half, South Korea's Suwon raced away with goals by Kwon Chang-Hoon, Seo Jung-Jin and captain Yeom Ki-Hun in a devastating 15-minute spell.

Luke DeVere pulled a goal back for the visitors with 10 minutes remaining but they dropped to third place, six points behind Beijing with two games remaining.

Beijing now need only a draw when they host Brisbane on April 21 to seal their passage into the knock-out rounds.

In Group E, South Korean champions Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors and Japan's Kashiwa Reysol were also prevented from reaching the eliminators as they were held to draws.

Kashiwa's game was a belter as Shandong Luneng staved off possible elimination by coming from 3-1 down to lead 4-3 when Yang Xu converted a penalty early in the second half.

But Shandong had to settle for a 4-4 draw when goalkeeper Wang Dalei comically mishandled a 76th-minute free-kick by Brazilian forward Cristiano into his own net.

In Thu Dau Mot, Jeonbuk's Eninho scored in the 31st minute but Senegalese striker Abbas Dieng kept Vietnam's Binh Duong in the competition when he made it 1-1 deep in injury time.