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Soccer - Jo denies Kawasaki's Ienaga as Ulsan progress with shootout win

HONG KONG : Ulsan Hyundai kept their hopes of back-to-back Asian Champions League titles alive on Tuesday as Jo Hyeon-woo's heroics earned Hong Myung-bo's side a 3-2 penalty shootout win over Kawasaki Frontale from Japan and a place in Friday's quarter-final draw.

Jo, who became a national hero in South Korea following his exploits in goal during the 2018 World Cup, kept out Akihiro Ienaga's attempt in the final round of spot-kicks before Yoon Bit-garam hit the winner to take Ulsan through.

The South Koreans advanced to the last eight alongside Japan's Nagoya Grampus, who fought back from twice going behind to hand Daegu FC a 4-2 defeat at Toyota Stadium.

Polish striker Jakub Swierczok, making his debut in the competition, hit a hat-trick as he tormented the Daegu defence throughout, hauling his team into the last eight despite twice going behind.

Brazilian midfielder Cesinha gave the Koreans the lead in the fourth minute with a strike from distance but Swierczok levelled eight minutes later with a curled finish into the bottom corner.

Edgar Silva's 28th-minute header put Daegu back in front but two goals in two second-half minutes from Swierczok gave Nagoya control of the match.

The 28-year-old headed in Ryoya Morishita's cross before outmuscling Hong Jeong-un to complete his hat-trick with an emphatic finish in the 65th minute.

Shinnosuke Nakatani put the result beyond doubt when he had time and space to head in Mateus' corner as Grampus reached the last eight for the first time since losing in the semi-finals in 2009.

Ulsan's victory, meanwhile, was achieved in a tense clash at an empty Ulsan Munsu Stadium as both sides adopted a cautious approach.

Kim Ji-hyun thought he had won the game for the Korean side in the final minute of extra-time, only to see his header come back off the post.

The tension took its toll in the shootout with Jo and opposite number Jung Sung-ryong seeing the opposition miss twice before Ienaga's attempt was saved in the final round, allowing Yoon to score the winner.

Saudi Arabia's Al Hilal, winners in 2019, advanced to the quarter-finals with their win over Esteghlal from Iran on Monday.

Istiklol from Tajikistan take on Iran's Persepolis later on Tuesday in the western half of the draw as Saudi Arabian club Al Nassr meet Tractor FC from Iran and United Arab Emirates duo Sharjah and Al Wahda go head-to-head.

Twice champions Jeonbuk Motors face Thai side BG Pathum United on Wednesday when Cerezo Osaka play Pohang Steelers looking for a place in Friday’s quarter-final draw.

(Reporting by Michael Church, Editing by Ed Osmond)

Source: Reuters

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