Kobe and Jeonbuk Motors advance to Asian Champions League

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Vissel Kobe qualified for the Asian Champions League quarter-finals with a 3-2 win over Japanese rivals Yokohama F. Marinos on Thursday.

Despite being third from bottom in the J.League standings, Kobe was too good for the Japanese league leader in the second round encounter at Saitama Stadium.

Nanasei Iino gave Kobe a lead in the seventh minute but Yokohama, looking to reach the last eight for the first time, fired back quickly through Takuma Nishimura.

Kobe came back in front in the 31st minute when Daiju Sasaki scored from the penalty spot after a Yuki Saneto handball and Yutaro Oda made it 3-1 with 10 minutes remaining.

A late goal from Yokohama’s Anderson Lopes reduced the deficit, but Kobe missed the game.

Kobe will be joined in the quarter-finals by Jeonbuk Motors, who beat Daegu FC 2-1 after extra time in an all-South Korean game.

Two-time champion Jeonbuk dominated most of the game and took the lead through Song Min-kyu early in the second half. After Brazilian striker Zeca equalized Daegu, Kim Jin-kyu won it for Jeonbuk in the last minute of extra time.

On Friday, the Urawa Reds of Japan will face Johor Darul Tazim of Malaysia and Kitchee of Hong Kong will meet Pathum United of Thailand.

The tournament is divided into two geographic regions. The second round of the western half of the draw will not take place until February 2023.

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