Pas, Busan reach Asian Champions League QF

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src=' ' class='caption'> Pas of Iran made it one of four teams to secure berths in the quarterfinals of the Asian Champions League.

Updated: February 25, 2007 10:52 IST
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Two goals in the final 19 minutes rallied Pas of Iran to a 2-1 victory over Al Rayyan and made it one of four teams to secure berths in the quarterfinals of the Asian Champions League. South Korea's Busan I'Park, Shandong Luneng of China and Saudi Arabia's Al-Alhi also assured themselves of a place in the next round. Busan I'Park thrashed Vietnamese side Binh Dinh 4-0 to claim the Group G title, Shandong Luneng edged Japan's Yokohama Marinos 2-1 to win Group F and Al-Alhi beat Al Zawraa of Iraq 4-1 to claim the spot from Group D. Only the seven group winners advance. Al Ittihaad to defend title The four join Al Ittihad of Saudi Arabia, which earned an automatic quarterfinals spot as defending champion. With one match remaining, several teams moved closer to the quarterfinals. South Korea's Suwon Bluewings beat Vietnam's Hoang Anh Gia Lai 6-0 to climb three points atop Group E while Sepahan beat Al Shabab 1-0 to remain one point ahead of the United Arab Emirates' Al Ain, which won 3-2 at Al Wahda, and atop Group B. In Group C, Al Ahli beat Al Sadd 2-1 and Al Kuwait defeated Neftchi 1-0 to leave all four teams within three points. In other games yesterday, Jubilo Iwata of Japan downed China's Shenzhen Jianlibao 3-0 Group E; Thailand's Krung Thai Bank squeezed out a 1-0 win over Persebaya Surabaya of Indonesia in an inconsequential Group G; Thailand's BEC Tero Sasana held Indonesia's PSM Makassar to a 2-2 draw in Group F; and Pakhtakor defeated Al Jaish 4-1 in Group D. In Doha, Qatar, Arash Borhani scored in the 71st and Behnam Abolghasempour added the winner in the 81st to rally Pas, the 1992 Asian champion, past Al Rayyan. The victory gave Pas a six-point lead with a match to play. At Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, Rogerio scored two goals and fellow Brazilians Alessandro and Flavio had one each as did Al Ahli's Fahd al-Zahrani to pace Al Ahli over Al Zawraa. The victory gave Al Ahli a three-point lead over Pakhtakor with a match remaining, but Al Ahli finished with 4-2 aggregate score in its two matches with Pakhtakor, assuring it of advancing. Earlier, Do Hwa-sung set the tone for Busan at Binh Dinh, Vietnam, when he opened the scoring in the ninth minute. Brazilian striker Luciano scored in the 15th, pouncing on a loose ball after Binh Dinh goalkeeper Tran Quoc Viet had fumbled, and made it 3-0 with another goal moments before the break. Cameroon forward Felix Nzeina sealed the victory when he found the net with a right-foot shot from the left corner of the box in the 82nd minute. Busan leads Group G Busan has won all five of its matches so far to lead Group G with 15 points, ahead of Krung Thai on nine, Binh Dinh on four and Persebaya with one. In Jinan, China, Zheng Zhi netted two goals including the match winner in injury time Shandong Luneng rallied to beat Yokohama. Daisuke Nasu scored with a header in the 7th minute to give the Marinos the lead, but Zheng scored the equaliser in the 38th minute. Zheng broke between two Marinos defenders to score the winning goal four minutes into added time. In Seoul, South Korea, Lee Byoung-keun scored two goals and set up another as the Suwon Bluewings crushed Vietnam champion Hoang Anh Gia Lai. Forward Kim Dong-hun opened the scoring after 20 seconds and Lee scored his first goal 11 minutes later, adding another another after 15 minutes with a powerful right footer. Cho Won-hee scored in the 34th minute when he netted off a pass from Lee, while Brazilian striker Sandro and Kim Do-hyeon each scored in the second half to seal the victory for the Bluewings. Suwon leads Group E With yesterday's win, Suwon moved atop Group E with 13 points, three more than China's Shenzhen. With Shenzhen's 3-0 loss to Jubilo Iwata in yesterday's other Group E match, Suwon will only need a draw at Shenzhen in two weeks' time to get a ticket into the next round. In Iran, defender Hadi Aqily scored with header in 37th minute and goalkeeper Mehdi Rahmati made several saves in the first half to lead Sepahan over Al Shabab while in Damascus, Syria, Al Ain scored three goals in the final 14 minutes, the last five minutes into injury time, rally from a 2-0 deficit and keep pace. Boubaker Sonogo began al-Ain's rally with a header off a corner kick in the 81st minute. Substitute striker Nasser Khamis equalized in the 86th and midfielder Subait Khater scored the winner five minutes into injury time. Al Ain, the 2003 champion, will have the edge in the final matching, hosting Sepahan on May 25 but needing a victory to advance. In Group C, Al Ahli of the United Arab Emirates and Al Kuwait both pulled within two points of Al Sadd. Al Sadd will host Al Kuwait in the final match on May 25, while Neftchi, three points back of the lead, will host Al Ahli. (AP)

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