Kashiwa Reysol endured a 1-2 home reverse against Suwon Samsung Bluewings in the second leg of the AFC Champions League round of 16 but still progressed to the quarter-finals.
Tatsuma Yoshida’s men were thankful to progress on the away goals rule on Tuesday, after winning the first leg 3-2 in Korea a week ago.
There had been plenty of warning signs of the threat Suwon posed then, and they proved it again when Jong Tae-se produced a superb skill on the edge of the box to put his team 1-0 up.
And there were risks of a Reysol collapse at Hitachi Kashiwa Stadium as Ku Ja-ryong put Suwon 2-0 up on the night and 4-3 on aggregate from a corner situation.
But Yusuke Kobayashi was on hand to pounce after dangerman Leandro had his effort blocked, sending his relieved team through with the score at 4-4 but leading in away goals at the end.
2013 semi-finalists Reysol will now wait to see who they meet in the quarter-finals draw.