10.07.2021 19:40 h

Jeonbuk win ends Gamba's ACL hopes

Substitute Moudu Barrow scored a late winner as Jeonbuk Hyundai ended Gamba Osaka's hopes of qualifying for the last-16 phase of the Asian Champions League with a 2-1 win in their last group match on Saturday.

With Jeonbuk already securing top spot with one match to spare, Gamba needed three points to stand a chance of making the round of 16 as one of the three best runners-up in the five groups in the continent's eastern zone.

But Saturday's result meant Gamba stayed on nine points in Group H while Jeonbuk finished on 16.

South Korea's Pohang Steelers and Thailand's BG Pathum United also made the cut as runners up of their respective groups with the eighth and last spot in the AFC's east zone to be decided on Sunday with Daegu FC the favourites over Hong Kong's Kitchee.

Jeonbuk Hyundai, the 2006 and 2016 winners, struck in the fifth minute on Saturday after Gamba's Kim Young-gwon fouled Park Jin-seong to concede a penalty.

Brazilian Gustavo, who stepped up for the spot-kick, beat Gamba goalkeeper Masaaki Higashiguchi with a low shot, leaving the Japanese side with an uphill task at the Milliy Stadium in Tashkent.

Gamba however stayed in the contest, courtesy of a great strike in the 53rd minute by Patric, whose powerful volley from a difficult angle saw the ball bulge the net despite goalkeeper Lee Bum-yong managing a touch.

Gamba could have found the lead with nine minutes remaining but substitute Leandro Pereira hit the woodwork much to his team's agony.

That was the last chance Gamba had before Barrow displayed great pace after an assist from Gustavo and struck with two minutes remaining.

In another Group H match on Saturday, Chiangrai United thrashed Tampines Rovers 3-0 at the Lokomotiv Stadium in Tashkent.

All the goals came in the last 15 minutes of play with Felipe Amorim, Brazilian Bill and Phitiwat Sukjitthammakul finding the net.

Chiangrai United finished third in the group with their second win while the Rovers finished at the bottom with six straight defeats.