Melbourne Victory now have it all to do after going down 3-1 to Shanghai SIPG in China.
Two goals in two minutes did the damage for the hosts with Yu Hai and Elkeson netting just prior to the break to put the Chinese side in control.
Dario Conca sealed the result midway through the second half from the penalty spot to confirm Shanghai SIPG as Group G winners with a game to spare.
Jesse Makarounas pulled one back for Victory with less than 10 minutes to go, but it proved to be little more than consolation for the visitors.
Earlier, Suwon Bluewings downed Gamba Osaka 2-1 to move level with Victory on six points, ensuring the race for second spot will come down to Match Day six on Tuesday, May 3.
Playing host to Gamba at home, Victory needs to either match or better Suwon's result against Shanghai SIPG to advance to the last 16.
Kevin Muscat made three changes to his side with Archie Thompson, Scott Galloway and Nick Ansell promoted to Victory's starting line-up.
But it was Shanghai which started brighter and the hosts had a decent chance to open the scoring in just the sixth minute, with Wu Lei firing just over the crossbar from the edge of the area.
Victory gradually grew into the game and was unfortunate not to take the lead on the half-hour mark with Kosta Barbarouses striking the crossbar with a fizzing effort from 18 yards.
And that near miss proved costly with Shanghai opening the scoring just eight minutes later.
Conca delivered a teasing free-kick to the back post that was headed back across goal by Wu Lei, with Yu Hai on hand to smash home the ball from point-blank range.
The hosts doubled their advantage less than two minutes later with Wu pouncing on an errant pass from Daniel Georgievski before teeing up Elkeson, who expertly slotted past Lawrence Thomas.
Victory had a glorious chance to pull one back just a minute later through Thompson, but the striker's effort was superbly kept out by Shanghai SIPG goalkeeper Yan Junling.
Shanghai SIPG was gifted a third just after the hour mark after Scott Galloway handled the ball inside his own box with the referee correctly awarding a penalty.
Conca stepped up the spot and fired past Thomas to give Shanghai a 3-0 advantage.
Victory should have pulled one back with 15 minutes remaining through Besart Berisha, with the Albanian miscuing a shot from 10 yards after being set up by Thompson.
Makarounas did manage to net a consolation for the visitors with just under 10 minutes to go, with the substitute calmly slotting the ball home from a neat Jason Geria cut-back.
Victory will host to Gamba in its final Group G match on May 3, with a win guaranteeing Muscat's side a place in the Round of 16.comments