Kashima Antlers advanced to the AFC Champions League quarterfinals on Wednesday night after achieving a 4-3 aggregate victory against Shanghai SIPG in the Round of 16.
Playing in enemy territory just one week after recording a 3-1 home win, Antlers fell behind in the seventh minute when SIPG’s Hulk scored the opener.
But an equalizer from Shoma Doi three minutes before the break gave Antlers an important away goal, requiring SIPG to score two more goals to force extra time.
They found one from the penalty spot - Hulk’s second of the night - but it wasn’t enough to prevent Antlers from reaching the quarterfinals for the first time since the 2008 edition of the tournament.
Antlers are the only Japanese club left in the competition after Kawasaki Frontale, Cerezo Osaka, and Kashiwa Reysol were eliminated in the group stage.