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Yatai, Guo'an pick up victories
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Japan's Gamba Osaka became the first team to progress to the quarterfinals of the Asian Champions League with a 2-0 away win over Thailand's Chonburi yesterday.

The win puts Gamba on 13 points from five games, eight points clear of its nearest Group G rival with only one game to play and one team from each group to go into the last eight.

Also, Adelaide United and Kashima Antlers both won to move to the brink of qualification for the quarterfinals.

Adelaide edged South Korea's Pohang Steelers 1-0 and now needs only a point in its last group match to become the first Australian club to ever reach the quarterfinals.

Brazilian Diego's right-foot strike in the 63rd minute won the game for Adelaide, but he also picked up a yellow card that will keep him out of the deciding game.

Adelaide has 13 points from five matches, two clear of China's Changchun Yatai, which has 11 points. The two teams meet in China for the final game. Only a win for Changchun can prevent Adelaide from going through.

Changchun had a 5-1 away win over last-placed Vietnamese team Binh Duong yesterday.

Wang Bo put the visitors ahead with a header in the second minute, with Guillaume Dah Zadi and Chen Lei making it 3-0 at the break. A Yang Fe freekick and a Samuel Caballero penalty completed the scoring.

In Group F, Beijing Guo'an had a 3-0 home win over another Vietnamese side Nam Dinh to remain level on points with Kashima. However the Japanese club's far superior goal difference meant it only had to match its Chinese rival's result in the final round of games to make the quarters.

Guo Hui put Guo'an ahead from the penalty spot and Wang Chengqing doubled the advantage before the break. Yang Hao completed the scoring in the 78th minute, but the visitors were reduced to ten men when Wang Ke was sent off just before full time.

Kashima Antlers overwhelmed Thailand's Krung Thai Bank 8-1 to all but guarantee a quarterfinal berth.

Takuya Nozawa scored two goals as Kashima remained atop the group with 12 points. Kashima only has to win its final match at Nam Dinh of Vietnam in two weeks' time to be the third Japanese team into the last eight.

The Antlers were 3-0 up by halftime, and two goals inside five minutes of the second half set up a rout.

The Bangkok club's five matches have seen an extraordinary 36 goals scored.

Also in Group F, Chunnam's faint hopes of reaching the quarterfinals ended when it was held to a 1-1 home draw by already-eliminated Melbourne Victory.

(Agencies via Shanghai Daily May 8, 2008)

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