Dalian Shide reach AFC quarterfinals

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src=' ' class='caption'> Unbeaten Dalian Shide down Thailand's Krung Thai Bank 3-1 to clinch a berth in the Asian Champions League quarterfinals.

Updated: February 25, 2007 10:06 IST
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Unbeaten Dalian Shide downed Thailand's Krung Thai Bank 3-1 and clinched a berth on Tuesday in the Asian Champions League quarterfinals. The China giant atop Group F became the first group winner to join defending champion Al Ain of the United Arab Emirates after their win last night. Also yesterday, Sharjah of the United Arab Emirates defeated 10-man Al Shorta of Iraq 3-2 in Group C, and in Group D, unbeaten Al Ittihad of Saudi Arabia drew Al Arabi of Kuwait 0-0, and Sepahan of Iran beat Uzbek host Neftchi 3-1. Slovenian striker Ermin Siljak scored twice to reach eight goals in this year's competition, as host Dalian rallied from a goal down against Krung Thai Bank. The Thais opened with Rungroj Sawangsri's shot glancing in off a Chinese defender in the 27th minute, only the second goal conceded by Dalian in five group games. Siljak equalised from a penalty just before halftime, and headed in a cross in the 79th. Two minutes later, substitute Hao Haidong converted another penalty kick to make it 3-1. Dalian remained unbeaten in its last seven home games over two years. Sharjah wins Sharjah's victory in Damascus, Syria, tied the idle Al-Hilal of Saudi Arabia atop Group C on seven points, while Al Shorta remained winless and without a point. The co-leaders meet on May 18 with host Sharjah requiring only a draw to advance on goal difference. Al Shorta striker Tayseer Abd Hussein scored a brilliant solo goal in the 25th minute when he beat three defenders and side-footed the ball to the right of goalkeeper Jawaher Ali. Sharjah's Brazilian striker Anderson De Carvalho scored for 1-1 in the 30th, and three minutes later Al Shorta was reduced to 10 when Syrian referee Mahmoud Abbas ejected midfielder Sammal Mujbel Saeed. Anderson scored his second in the 44th, but in first-half injury time, the Iraqi team equalised when striker Ammar Abdul Hassan fired in a penalty kick. Sharjah striker Othman Assass scored the match-winner from a penalty in the 68th minute. Al Arabi hold Al Ittihad In Kuwait City, Al Arabi held Group D leader Al Ittihad to a 0-0 draw. Al Ittihad had the best chance to take the lead in the 27th minute, but strikers Mohammed Nour and Hamza Idris missed after being face-to-face with Al Arabi goalkeeper Falah Dabasa. The Saudi team leads Group D with 10 points, ahead of Sepahan on goal difference. Al Arabi is next with five points, followed by Neftchi with zero. Sepahan and Al Ittihad will decide the group winner in separate home matches on May 18. In Ferghana, visiting Sepahan earned its third win in five games with another rout of winless Neftchi. Neftchi's Umid Isakov scored in the 10th minute to give the host hope, but Mohammad Farshbaf equalised 22 minutes later, and Mohammad Seyedsalehi's goal in the last minute of the first half put Sepahan up 2-1. Asghar Talebnasab's second-half goal nailed the result. (AP)

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