2017 AFC Champions League, Quarterfinals
  • Shinzo Koroki (35')
  • Zlatan Ljubijankic (70')
  • Rafael Silva (84')
  • Toshiyuki Takagi (85')
  • Elson Ferreira de Souza (19')
  • Shintaro Kurumaya (38')
2nd Leg - Urawa Red Diamonds win 5-4 on aggregate
2nd Leg - Urawa Red Diamonds win 5-4 on aggregate

Urawa Reds edge Kawasaki Frontale to reach Asian Champions League semis

Two goals in a minute late in the second half sealed Urawa Red Diamonds' place in the semifinals of the Asian Champions League on Wednesday evening as the 2007 champions defeated 10-man Kawasaki Frontale 4-1 on the night and 5-4 on aggregate.

Rafael Silva and Toshiyuki Takagi scored in the 83rd and 84th minutes respectively to earn Takafumi Hori's a place in the last four, where they will take on Chinese Super League side Shanghai SIPG for a place in this year's final.

Kawasaki had taken the lead through Brazilian defender Edilson before Koroki levelled the scores with 10 minutes remaining in the half, but Shintaro Kurumaya was dismissed just three minutes later to give Urawa the numerical advantage throughout the second half.

Kengo Nakamura, so often the orchestrator for Kawasaki, unlocked the Urawa defence as Frontale took the lead with an exquisite lofted pass over the top that checked enough to allow Edilson to beat Shusaku Nishikawa to the ball, which slowly rolled into the empty net.

Urawa had dictated possession to that point but had done little to break through the visiting defence as Reds' tendency to knock the ball backwards and sideways presented little threat to Kawasaki's disciplined rearguard.

The final 10 minutes of the half, though, were to prove pivotal in Urawa's attempt to rescue their Asian Champions League campaign.

Koroki latched on to Shinya Yajima's perfectly weighted pass behind the defence before steadying himself to lift the ball beyond Jung Sung-ryung and into the net for a 35th minute equaliser.

With Urawa's challenge now back on track, the home side was given an added incentive three minutes later when Kurumaya was given a direct red card after catching Koroki in the face with a high foot.

The former champions laid siege to the Frontale goal throughout the second half, but it took 25 minutes for Takafumi Hori's team to score a second.

Yosuke Kashiwagi saw his shot tipped over the bar by Jung and, from the resultant corner, Marcelinho's header was cleared by the Frontale goalkeeper just after the hour mark while, in the 68th minute, Koroki was also denied by Jung.

The South Korean, however, could do nothing to stop Urawa from take the lead on the night and reduce the overall deficit to a solitary goal when substitute Ljubijankic headed Kashiwagi's corner home.

Urawa continued to press, with Tomoaki Makino striking low to force Jung into action soon after the goal and, with seven minutes to go, Silva's low shot into the far corner looked destined to send the game into extra-time.

But just a minute later Takagi scored with a remarkable looping effort from close range following Ryota Moriwaki's clipped cross to take Urawa into the last four for the first time since losing to Gamba Osaka in 2008.