Updated: 04/16/2014 00:12 | By Agence France-Presse

Stunning Victory put Guangzhou bid in doubt

Melbourne Victory stunned Guangzhou Evergrande 2-0 Tuesday to halt the title-holders' progress to the AFC Champions League knock-out rounds and leave all four teams in their group level on points with one game left.


Stunning Victory put Guangzhou bid in doubt

Melbourne Victory player James Troisi celebrates scoring a goal during their AFC Champions League football match against Guangzhou Evergrande in Melbourne on April 15, 2014 - by Mal Fairclough

Marcello Lippi's attractive side had swamped Victory 4-2 in their earlier meeting, but goals in the opening and closing minutes ensured a shock win in Melbourne and blew Group G wide open.

Elsewhere, Manabu Saito scored twice in two minutes as Yokohama F. Marinos upset former champions Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors 2-1 to put all four contenders on seven points ahead of next week's final group fixtures.

In Group H, Western Sydney Wanders beat Ulsan Hyundai 2-0 to give a massive boost to their hopes of reaching the knock-out stages on their debut in the Asian club competition.

In a dramatic night of action, Australian international Mark Milligan scored in the second minute and James Troisi struck in stoppage time in Melbourne to pull off the biggest surprise of the tournament so far.

It was Victory's best win in four Champions League campaigns, and means they will reach the knock-outs if they beat 2006 winners Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors in South Korea next week.

Victory were ahead inside the opening 90 seconds, when Milligan won the ball in Guangzhou's half and passed to Jesse Makarounas before continuing his run and finishing smartly.

The Australian side had several chances to extend their lead in the first half, but Guangzhou came alive after the break and goalkeeper Nathan Coe saved from both Muriqui and Feng Renliang in the game's final quarter.

Another great save from Coe thwarted a swift Guangzhou counter-attack before substitute Andrew Nabbout and Kosta Barbarouses combined to set up Troisi's goal in the first minute of stoppage time.

"The most important thing for us was to win and we did that and it's going to make the last round very interesting," Coe said.

Lippi's expensive team came to Melbourne without their tournament top-scorer Alessandro Diamanti, and they badly missed the injured Italian international's goals and creativity.

The Chinese champions now head into their final group game, at home to Yokohama next Tuesday, knowing they need a win to make sure of keeping their title defence alive.

Yokohama fell behind to an early goal from Jeonbuk's Han Kyo-Won but Saito's audacious strike from outside the box levelled the game at 1-1 with just under half-an-hour remaining.

And man-of-the-match Saito stayed alert as just a minute later, he pounced on a defensive mistake and slotted the winner past Jeonbuk goalie Kwoun Sun-Tae.

In Ulsan, Western Sydney kept the shocks rolling as second-half goals from Mark Bridge and Brendon Santalab downed the 2012 champions and put the Australian side provisionally top of Group H and eyeing the last 16.

And in Guiyang, Kengo Nakamura rifled home shortly before half-time to give Kawasaki Frontale a 1-0 win and end the hopes of Guizhou Renhe, who had Sun Jihai and Zvjezdan Misimovic sent off in a bad-tempered finish.

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