ADELAIDE, Australia (AP) — Adelaide United, Tokyo and Ulsan Hyundai booked places in the last 16 of the Asian Champions League on Wednesday while 2008 winner Gamba Osaka, Brisbane Roar and Beijing Guoan dropped out of contention.
Adelaide United was held to a scoreless draw at home by Uzbekistan's Bunyodkor but that was enough to guarantee the Australian club a spot in the knockout stages.
Bunyodkor will need to win its last game at home against Pohang Steelers to progress from Group E. The Korean club beat Gamba 2-0 to move up to second place.
In Group F, Tokyo beat Brisbane United 4-2 while Ulsan Hyundai won 3-2 at Beijing Guoan, eliminating the losers with a game to spare.
In Adelaide, a game where both teams were going to be reasonably satisfied with a draw made for mostly unadventurous football.
Though Bunyodkor showed more attacking intent in the second half and controlled the balance of play, it was Adelaide which had the best chances: Iain Ramsey had a shot cleared off the line and substitute Iain Fyfe headed straight at the goalkeeper then forced a diving save with a long-range volley.
"We have confirmed our spot now in the second round," United acting coach Luciano Trani said. "The objective was pretty much achieved tonight, so that is a good thing."
Pohang Steelers prevailed over Gamba in a match between former champions. Zoran Rendulic failed to convert a first-half penalty for Pohang, but the hosts still went to halftime ahead thanks to a goal by on-loan striker Kim Jin-yong.