Gamba end Chonburi's dream (May 08, 2008)

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Gamba Osaka of Japan ended Chonburi's AFC Champions League campaign with a 2-0 win at Supachalasai stadium last night. Second-half goals from substitute Masato Yamazaki and Brazilian striker Lucas sent the Japanese side to the quarter-finals with one round of matches to go in Group G.

Gamba have 13 points from five games with only the top team in each of the eight groups advancing to the knock-out stages.

Chonburi have five points and are eliminated. South Korea's Chunnam Dragons (five points) and Melbourne Victory (four), who drew 1-1 yesterday, are also out.

Yamazaki scored just seconds after coming off the bench with a header following a cross from the left by Michihiro Yasuda in the 64th minute and 12 minutes later Lucas volleyed home Akira Kaji's centre from the right to see off the Thai champions' stubborn resistance.

In the first half, Chonburi's Brazilian striker Ney Fabiano and his partner Pipob On-mo had several clear chances but failed to send the ball past in-form goal-keeper Naoki Matsuyo.

It was Fabiano last match in Thailand for the Sharks as the Brazilian will go to play in Australia.

Chonburi coach Jadet Meelarp said he was disappointed that his men failed to progress to the quarter-finals.

''We played very well and got several chances in the first half and early in the second half but we failed to turn them into goal,'' Jadet said.

''We are very sorry for our fans that we could not make it to the last eight.''

Gamba coach Akira Nishino said his side played very well as their hard work paid off handsomely.

''Our mission to qualify for the quarter-finals is complete.

''We are not thinking about winning the Champions League. We will focus on match by match in the next rounds,'' he said.

In Kashima, Japan, skipper Mitsuo Ogasawara scored once and set up four goals to lead Kashima Antlers to a crushing 8-1 win over Krung Thai Bank.

It was a repeat performance for the J-League champions, who demolished the Thai opponents 9-1 in Bangkok in March.

It was Kashima's fourth win against one defeat and with 12 points they are within sight of the knockout round, with only one game left in the four-team Group F.

The Japanese side are level on points with Beijing Guoan at the top of Group F after the Chinese secured a 3-0 home victory over Vietnam's Nam Dinh.

In Group B, Iranian giants Saipa sealed their spot in the quarter-finals with a 1-0 win over Kuwait Sports.

Saipa, coached by Iranian legend Ali Daei, booked their place with a 1-0 win over Kuwait Sports club which ensured top spot in Group B.

Kianoush Rahmati's long range effort in the 24th minute was enough for Ali Daei's side to go through.


Group A: Al Ittihad Allepo (SYR) v Sepahan (IRI) _ late kick-off; Kuruvchi FC (UZB) 2 (Soliev 10, Djeparov 83) Al Ittihad (KSA) 0

Group B: Al Quwa Al Jawiya (IRQ) v Al Wasl Sports Club (UAE) _ late kick-off; Saipa (IRI) 1 (Rahmativ 24) Kuwait SC (KUW) 0

Group C: Al Ahli (KSA) v Al Sadd (QAT); Al Wahda (UAE) v Al Karama (SYR)

Group D: Al Qadsia (KUW) v Pakhtakor (UZB) ;Al Gharafa (QAT) v Arbil (IRQ)

Group E: Binh Duong (VIE) 0 Changchun Yatai (CHN) 5 (Wang Bo 2, Dah Zadi 13, Chen Lei 45, Yan Feng 78, Caballero 90); Adelaide United (AUS) 1 (Diego 63) Pohang Steelers (KOR) 0

Group F: Kashima Antlers (JPN) 8 (Iwamasa 19, Koroki 21, Tashiro 30, Nozawa 46, 66, Ogasawara 50, Danilo 74, 83) Krung Thai Bank (THA) 1 (Peeraphong 90); Beijing Guoan (CHN) 3 (Guo Hui 15, Wang Chengqing 32, Yang Hao 78) Nam Dinh (VIE) 0

Group G: Chunnam Dragons (KOR) 1 (Ko Ki-gu 38) Melbourne Victory (AUS) 1 (Pondeljack 4); Chonburi (THA) 0 Gamba Osaka (JPN) 2 (Yamazaki 64, Lucas 76)