Evergrande travelled northeast to Kashima with the most fragile of leads, having won the first leg at home by 1-0. However, the guests, knowing an away goal might well break Antlers, did not hang back but started out focused on their own game and looking the more dangerous side for the first 20 minutes of play.
After that, the hosts moved their positions forward and created the first qualified chance of the match as Shoma Doi used a beautiful back-heel to set up Yuma Suzuki who rolled the ball just wide the Evergrande post after 25 minutes. Only a three minutes later, Antlers got the breakthrough when Pedro Júnior took on the the Evergrande defence all on his own. Some physical strength and balance to get into position and a wonderful shot into the top corner from outside the box from the Brazilian to make the game level on aggregate. Despite a few highly threatening attempts from Antlers to go ahead, 1-0 remained the score until the break.
The second half started with a lot of promise as neither side looked interested in letting the match go to extra time and it didn’t take long before the deadlock was broken. It was Paulinho who got the ever important away goal (please FIFA, forbid this abomination of a rule) for Evergrande with an easy tap in after being set up by Alan. The game opened up even more as Antlers were forced to chase two more goals and left themselves vulnerable to counter attacks. The visitors took over as the match progressed, and Antlers became less and less confident that they even had a fighting chance, and a definitive decider was on the cards more than once. Then, in the 91st minute, Mu Kanazaki fired off a splendid shot with the outside of his right foot that hit the crossbar and went in to make it 2 all and, out of nowhere, the last few minutes were highly interesting and, no doubt, very stressful for the travelling Evergrande supporters. It turned out to be the final goal of the evening and the Chinese side won a hard fought place in the quarter finals.
Less than a hundred kilometres west of Kashima, Kawasaki took on Muangthong with a solid 3-1 lead to build on from last week’s encounter. Before halftime, Frontale had extended that lead to 6-1 following goals from Yu Kobayashi, Tatsuya Hasegawa and Eduardo Neto.
In the second half, Rhayner added to the tally before Teerasil Dangda got a late consolation goal for Muangthong but the Thais successful campaign came to a crashing halt and Frontale cruised through to the next round.