Naft Tehran’s fairytale adventure in the AFC Champions League continued on Wednesday as they sent Al Ahli of Saudi Arabia tumbling out on away goals.
The Iranian side are playing in their first Champions League campaign this season and find themselves in the quarter-finals after seeing off the two-time runners up.
Holding a one-goal advantage from the first leg, Tehran progressed after the tie ended 2-2 – as Leandro Padovani’s first-half strike in Jeddah was enough to put them through despite losing the second leg 2-1.
Ricardo Goulart was the hero for Chinese Super League champions Guangzhou Evergrande, scoring both goals in their 2-0 second leg success over Seongnam.
The South Korean side had held a 2-1 advantage following the first leg, but Goulart scored in either half in Guangzhou to see the 2013 champions into the quarter-finals.
Fabio Cannavaro’s men are in the last eight for the fourth season running, although there was no such comeback for Seoul however as they fell to a 6-3 aggregate defeat at the hands of Gamba Osaka.
Gamba built on their 3-1 first leg success with two first-half goals from Patric and Shu Kurata effectively ending the tie as a contest.
Yun Ju-tae’s brace for Seoul made the scoreline more respectable, but Gamba returned to the quarters for the first time since their 2008 Champions League success.
Al Ahli from United Arab Emirates went through on away goals after a thrilling 3-3 draw with rivals Al Ain.
Asamoah Gyan gave Al Ain an early lead but three goals in five second-half minutes – Humeid Salmein’s equaliser followed by a quickfire brace from Ahmed Khalil – put Al Ahli in the driving seat.
Gyan’s second goal and Rashed Essa’s 92nd-minute effort brought Al Ain level, but the hosts were unable to find another as Al Ahli advanced.