Seoul, Hiroshima advance in Asian Champions League

Published on NewsOK Modified: April 23, 2014 at 5:57 pm •  Published: April 23, 2014

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — FC Seoul beat Beijing Guoan 2-1 to advance to the knockout stage of the Asian Champions League on Wednesday, ensuring both last season's finalists reached the second round.

Kang Song-ho scored a minute before halftime and Yun Ju-tae extended the lead in the 56th as Seoul, which lost the 2013 final to Guangzhou, topped Group F.

J-League champion Sanfrecce Hiroshima reached the last 16 for the first time by finishing second in the tight group after beating Australian club Central Coast Mariners 1-0.

Mariners, which needed only a draw to advance, were reduced to 10 men when Brent Griffiths was sent off for tripping Naoki Ishihara. Satoru Yamagishi deflected Tsukasa Shiotani's subsequent free kick into the net in the 72nd minute.

Seoul will face Group H runner-up Kawasaki Frontale in the second round on May 7 and May 14, while Hiroshima plays Group H winner Western Sydney Wanderers.

Japan's Cerezo Osaka had a 2-1 comeback victory at China's Shandong Luneng in Group E, with Yoichiro Kakitani and Diego Forlan both scoring in the second half. Cerezo next faces defending champion and Group G winner Guangzhou Evergrande.

Pohang Steelers, which had already secured a place in the knockout stage, had a 0-0 draw at home to Thailand's Buriram United and will next meet fellow South Korean club Jeonbuk Motors in a battle of two former Asian champions.

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