AFC Champions League Roundup: Al Ain demolish Esteghlal; Kawasaki Frontale stroll through

Al Ain vs Esteghlal; Caio
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Al Ain booked their spot in the AFC Champions League quarterfinals with a thumping win as Kawasaki Frontale did likewise..

The Round of 16 games in the AFC Champions League are winding up and we saw four teams book their spot in the next round. Let's take a closer look at the games that have finished:

AL AIN 6-1 ESTEGHLAL [Caio 27', 33' Abdulrahman 49', 60' Myung-joo 56' Al Shamrani 75' - Rezaei 83']

Al Ain vs Esteghlal; Omar Abdulrahman

UAE's Al Ain progressed to the quarterfinals of the AFC Champions League after stunning Iran's Esteghlal 6-1 in the second leg in Dubai. The demolition job they carried out wiped the one-goal deficit Al Ain had to overcome from the first leg. 

Zoran Mamic's side began in fantastic fashion, going 2-0 up inside the first half with Caio netting a brace. The attacking midfielder scored with a brilliant volley in the 27th minute before being sent clear by a fantastic long ball from defence. He proceeded to lob the keeper and calmly place the ball into the net. The floodgates opened in the second half with Omar Abdulrahman getting in on the act in the 49th minute. He slid in at the far post to direct a deflected cross into the back of the net before Lee Myung-joo burst into the box and finished with aplomb. 

Omar Abdulrahman made it 5-0 soon after with a fantastic low strike from 20 yards out and Nasser Al Shamrani joined in by running on to Abdulrahman's through ball and slotting past the keeper. Though Kevah Rezaei scored a low free-kick in the dying minutes, it remained a mere consolation on a day Al Ain were on top of their game. 

AL AHLI (UAE) 1-3 AL AHLI (KSA) [Gyan 90+1' - Al Jassam 18' Al Mogahwi 24' Abdulameer 72']

Al Ahli vs Al Ahli

In the battle of the namesakes it was the Saudi Arabian side who triumphed 4-2 on aggregate after surprising the Emirati side 3-1 away to book their spot in the AFC Champions League quarterfinals. 

It was the Saudi Arabian side who got off to a fantastic start in the first half, with Taiseer Al Jassam finishing at the back post Giannis Fetfatzidis' corner was flicked on. In the 24th minute, Hussain Al Mogahwi stunned the home team with a 20-yard rocket  which meant the Emirati side had to score three goals to progress. Just before the hour mark, the home team were dealt another blow when star striker Makhete Diop was sent off for a second bookable offence. 

Things turned from bad to worse in the 72nd minute when Saeed Abdulameer made it 3-0 from the penalty spot. Second half substitute Asamoah Gyan's penalty in injury time only proved to be a consolation for the Emirati side. 

KAWASAKI FRONTALE 4-1 MUANGTHONG UNITED [Kobayashi 31' Hasegawa 32' Neto 40' Rhayner 79' - Dangda 89'] 

Yu Kobayashi; Kawasaki Frontale vs Muangthong United

Japan's Kawasaki Frontale strolled into the AFC Champions League quarterfinals after a 4-1 win in the second leg over Thai side Muangthong United, with the aggregate score reading 7-2. 

The Japanese side already had a foot in the quarterfinals following a 3-1 win in the first leg but got off to a racing start and were 3-0 up within 40 minutes. Yu Kobayashi turned smartly inside the area in the 31st minute and saw his shot squirm under the goalkeeper and nestle in the back of the net before he truned provider in the very next minute, Tatsuya Hasegawa tapping in his cross from the byline.  Eduardo Neto headed a third five minutes before half time as Muangthong sunk without a trace. 

Rhayner made it 4-0 in the second half when he finished off Kobayash's clever backheel. Teerasil Dangda's 89th minute header was just a consolation. 

KASHIMA ANTLERS 2-1 GUANGZHOU EVERGRANDE [Pedro Jr 28' Kanazaki 90+1' - Paulinho 55']

Kashima Antlers vs GUangzhou Evergrande

Paulinho turned out to be the hero for Guangzhou Evergrande as they progressed to the AFC Champions League quarterfinals on his away goal, after a 2-2 tie on aggregate against Kashima Antlers. After a 1-0 loss in the first leg, Kashima Antlers needed to win by at least a two-goal margin but Paulinho's strike means they have crashed out. 

Antlers roared into the lead in the 28th minute when Pedro Junior went on a marauding run down the middle and curled a sumptuous strike into the corner from 25 yards. The home team were dominating and it looked like they would get a second goal. But it was the Chinese side who got a vital away goal in the 55th minute. A long throw-in was flicked on to the near post where Alan saw his shot come off the bar but Paulinho was on hand to convert it and ensure Antlers needed to score two more goals to progress. 

That they would not get but the home team got a second goal in the dying minutes through Mu Kanazaki who found the back of the net with a clever finish amid a scramble in the box. But all it did was ensure Paulinho's strike turned decisive in the outcome of the tie.