Pohang steal into Asia's last 16
South Korea's Pohang Steelers midfielder Lee Myung-Joo (C, 29) celebrates with his teammates as he scored a goal against Japan's Cerezo Osaka during the AFC champions league group E football match in Osaka on April 16, 2014
The 2009 winners from South Korea beat Uruguay star Diego Forlan's Cerezo Osaka 2-0 away to clamber into the knock-out stages, leaving their Group E rivals all locked on five points each.
Defending champions Guangzhou Evergrande missed their chance to reach the eliminators on Tuesday, meaning it will be all to play for in the East Asian zone as the group stage wraps up next week.
Australia's Central Coast Mariners were cruelly felled by a stoppage-time own goal as they slid off the top of Group F to lie level with Beijing Guoan and Sanfrecce Hiroshima with six points.
Beijing Guoan scored twice in five second-half minutes against Hiroshima, but then Naoki Ishihara outdid them with a brace in just three minutes to earn a pulsating 2-2 draw in the Chinese capital.
And Thailand's Buriram United shocked Shandong Luneng 1-0 to score their first win of the competition and draw level with the Chinese team and Cerezo on five points in Group E.
Lee Myung-Joo and Kim Seung-Dae scored either side of half-time for Pohang to earn their third win of the competition and establish an unbridgeable six-point gap at the top of the group.
In Gosford, the Mariners doggedly repulsed last year's runners-up FC Seoul, but their rearguard action was undone a minute into injury time when skipper John Hutchinson turned a cross into his own net.
"The first thing we'll do when we walk into the dressing room is put our arms around 'Hutch' and pick him up," said Mariners coach Phil Moss after the 1-0 defeat.
"He's a fantastic Mariner on and off the field and he doesn't deserve that."
Beijing went ahead against Hiroshima in dubious circumstances when Peter Utaka's shot appeared to come off Shao Jiayi's arm and crept over the line in a goal credited to the Chinese international.
Shao then turned creator with a glorious no-look flick to set up explosive Ecuadorian Joffre Guerron for Beijing's second, in what appeared enough for victory.
But bleach-blond forward Ishihara had other ideas and fired two similar goals, both from poorly defended crosses from the left, within three minutes to earn a vital point for Hiroshima.
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