Yokohama F·Marinos set for maiden AFC Champions League quarter-final

Yokohama F·Marinos set for maiden AFC Champions League quarter-final

Yokohama F·Marinos are into the AFC Champions League quarter-finals for the first time in club history, but the Tricolor believe they are just getting started. They have designs on winning the Asian championship, and the next step in that journey is dispatching Shandong Taishan of China to reach the final four.

The Tricolor won their Round of 16 tie by outlasting Bangkok United, prevailing on an Anderson Lopes penalty kick in the 122nd minute of the second leg. They may have left it late, but it was a great display of Marinos’ resilience and they will need that mental toughness if they are to lift the continental crown.

Shandong Taishan had a difficult last 16 tie of their own, coming from behind to defeat Kawasaki Frontale and prevent an all-J.League quarter-final.

While not from the same country, Marinos and Shandong are familiar with each other after meeting twice in the group stage.

Marinos won the first meeting between these two clubs as Kota Mizunuma scored the lone goal in China. The Tricolor then won again on the last day of the group stage as Élber, Anderson Lopes and Yan Matheus each scored in a 3-0 victory that fired Marinos to first place in Group G.

The top end talent of the Tricolor proved to be the difference between these two sides in the fall, with the front line creating problems for the Chinese side. While that may have been months ago, and both sides have undergone big changes since, Marinos still have those same attacking players. They will be hoping that sets them apart again and pushes them into the semi-finals.

Marinos and Shandong will kick off their quarter-final tie on March 6 at Jinan Olympic Sports Center Stadium in China before the second leg on March 13 at an electric Nissan Stadium, where the Yokohama faithful will surely be in full voice for their beloved Tricolor.