AFC Champions League Review: Victory, Al Hilal and Al Ain qualify with wins

Melbourne Victory, Al Hilal and Al Ain claimed wins on Tuesday to progress to the AFC Champions League round of 16.

Early goals from Besart Berisha and Archie Thompson helped Melbourne Victory to a 2-1 AFC Champions League win over Gamba Osaka that saw the A-League side progress to the round of 16 at the expense of Suwon Bluewings.

Berisha opened the scoring with a 13th-minute penalty in the Group G clash at AAMI Park and Thompson turned home Kosta Barbarouses' cross three minutes later.

Ademilson scored from close range in the closing stages to set up a grandstand finish but Victory secured the win they required to pip Suwon, who defeated group winners Shanghai SIPG 3-0 as Kim Gunhee bagged a brace.

Both teams finished level on nine points but Victory's away goal in the 1-1 draw in Korea proved decisive, prolonging the Victory career of retiring veteran and fan favourite Thompson.

Elsewhere on Tuesday, Al Hilal secured a 2-1 win at Tractorsazi Tabriz to secure their passage from Group C alongside their hosts, with Brazilian striker Ailton coming off the bench to score the decisive goal.

It meant Pakhator's 3-0 win over Al Jazira in Tashkent was in vain, with the Uzbek club finishing one point shy of second.

Urawa Reds could only draw 1-1 with Pohang Steelers, meaning they missed out on the opportunity to top Group H ahead of Sydney FC – 1-0 losers to departing champions Guangzhou Evergrande Taobao.

Zlatan Ljubijankic netted a penalty three minutes from time after Pohang's Lazar Veselinovic did likewise, while Gao Lin's early volley was enough for Guangzhou to bow out with a consolation victory.

Al Ain's 2-0 win over Nasaf in Group D saw them through as runners-up ahead of Al Ahli, who beat group winners El Jaish by the same scoreline.