Yokohama F·Marinos advance to first AFC Champions League quarter-final

Yokohama F·Marinos advance to first AFC Champions League quarter-final

Yokohama F·Marinos are headed to the AFC Champions League quarter-finals for the first time in club history after Anderson Lopes scored a stoppage-time penalty to defeat Bangkok United and send the Tricolor into Asia’s final eight.

Marinos managed a 2-2 draw in Thailand to open the tie, putting them in a good position as they kicked off the second leg in Yokohama.

It was a fast start from the hosts as Élber nearly scored early in the first half, but his curler barely went over the bar.

In the second 45-minute frame, Marinos continued to exert pressure, with Jun Amano going just high and Lopes putting a strong shot on target in the 78th-minute that was tipped onto the post by opposing goalkeeper Patiwat Khammai.

With the scores deadlocked, the match went to extra time, where Lopes was again a threat but couldn't find a way through until Yuhi Murakami’s cross was handled just inside the box and the referee awarded a penalty.

Lopes took the responsibility for the spot kick and with the clock into stoppage time, it was going to be the last chance to win it for Marinos before penalty kicks. The Brazilian was calm as could be, sending the keeper the wrong way and slotting the ball in the back of the net to deliver Marinos their historic quarter-final place.

Unfortunately, Marinos will not meet Kawasaki Frontale in the next round after their Kanagawa rivals fell to Shandong Taishan, defeated 4-2 in the second leg and 6-5 on aggregate.

Yokohama F·Marinos will now play the Chinese club in the quarter-finals, set for March.

Ventforet Kofu also exited the competition in the Round of 16, ending a remarkable run for the Meiji Yasuda J2 League club. They won the Emperor’s Cup as a second division side, slaying top-flight opposition along the way, to earn their place in Asia’s top competition. Then, they won their group in improbable fashion.

Despite a 5-1 aggregate loss to K League giants Ulsan Hyundai, it was a remarkable ride for Kofu right until the very end.