Hou Sen (2nd R) of Beijing Guo'an saves the ball during a Group E match of the AFC Champions League between Beijing Guo'an and Melbourne Victory in Doha, Qatar, Nov. 27, 2020. (Photo by Nikku/Xinhua)
Beijing Guoan defeat Melbourne Victory to seal a place in the AFC Champions League Round of 16, but Shanghai Shenhua slipped to third place in Group F following FC Tokyo defeat.
DOHA, Nov. 27 (Xinhua) -- Beijing Guoan became the first team from Group E to qualify for the 2020 AFC Champions League (East) Round of 16 with a 2-0 win over Melbourne Victory, while FC Tokyo edged Shanghai Shenhua 2-1 in Group F to boost its chances of progression on Friday.
Prior to kickoff, Guoan and Melbourne gathered in the center of the pitch to mourn the passing of legendary football star Diego Maradona.
Nine minutes after the game kicked off, Renato Augusto's long pass from the left side found Wang Gang on the right of the box. The latter rolled the ball back to Jonathan Viera Ramos, who volleyed through the middle to make it 1-0 for Guoan.
Before the end of the first half, Viera crossed the ball into the box from the left flank. Zhang Yuning snatched the ball and turned around for a low shot, which hit the post and bounced into the net.
The second half witnessed several Guoan attempts to enlarge the gap but their efforts were denied either by the goalkeeper or the post. Though Guoan failed to score another goal, it still progressed beyond the group stage of the competition for the first time since 2015, and doing so with two games to spare.
Zhang Lu (R) of Shanghai Shenhua FC vies with Diego Oliveria of FC Tokyo during a Group F match of the AFC Champions League between Shanghai Shenhua FC and FC Tokyo in Doha, Qatar, Nov. 27, 2020. (Photo by Nikku/Xinhua)
Three second-half-goals at Education City Stadium saw FC Tokyo clinch a valuable 2-1 victory against Shanghai Shenhua in Group F on Friday.
FC Tokyo broke the deadlock in the 57th minute through Leandro Montera's volley.
In the 81st minute, Taichi Hara's precise cross gifted Shuto Abe a tap-in right in front of the goal to widen the margin.
Five minutes later, thanks to Liu Ruofan's breakthrough on the right, Giovanni Moreno smashed in a volley to pull one back, but there was not enough time for Shenhua to level the scores.
Elsewhere, Chiangrai United beat FC Seoul 2-1 in Group E, while Ulsan Hyundai overcame Perth Glory 2-0 in Group F. ■