Even the entry of Zlatan Ljubijankic and his subsequent goal was not enough to prevent Urawa Reds from slipping to a 2-1 home defeat to Suwon Samsung Bluewings, thus leaving them crashing out of the AFC Champions League.
Mihailo Petrovic’s men had already been without a win in four Group G games on the continent this season and were virtually eliminated after their 1-1 draw at home against Beijing Guoan earlier in April.
And Tuesday’s slump to their Korean visitors only confirmed the inevitable, despite Zlatan opening the scoring by heading in Toshiyuki Takagi’s cross.
Suwon would turn to their own pair of substitutes in Ko Cha-won and the Brazilian Felipe Kaio to respond - the latter lifting a spectacular half-volley over the head of Reds’ keeper Shusaku Nishikawa with a minute of regulation time remaining.
The J.League leaders will therefore finish bottom of Group G, with only pride left to play for when they travel to fellow eliminated side Brisbane Roar in May.