Sparkling Doi double puts Kashima into Asia’s last eight
Tokyo, Japan: Shoma Doi's sizzling double strike put title-holders Kashima Antlers into the AFC Champions League quarterfinals as they edged 10-man Sanfrecce Hiroshima on away goals on Tuesday.
Doi scored in each half as Kashima lost 3-2 on the night but finished 3-3 on aggregate — with two away goals after their 1-0 home victory in last week's first leg.
It makes them the first team into the last eight, with Shandong Luneng playing Guangzhou Evergrande in an all-Chinese clash later Tuesday.
Kashima, the reigning Asian champions, came under sustained pressure in the first period from their J-League rivals before Doi gave them the lead against the run of play.
Doi, arriving at the edge of the box, pounced on a loose defensive header and rifled the opener through Hayato Araki's legs 12 minutes before half-time.
Sanfrecce had an attempt cleared off the line just before the break but they got a lifeline when Tomoya Inukai, under pressure from Brazilian forward Patric, headed into his own net on 63 minutes.
It triggered a frantic spell of play with Patric twice coming within inches of scoring before Sho Sasaki shimmied and then stroked home the hosts' second goal at the near post.
At 2-1 on the night and with the aggregate scores level, Sanfrecce goalkeeper Hirotsugu Nakabayashi needlessly got himself sent off when he rushed out and brought down Doi near the centre circle.
And in the final minute, as Sanfrecce poured forward in search of a third goal, Doi made them pay when he curled a raking, first-time shot from distance into an empty net.
Patric scored an injury-time penalty to make it 3-2 to Sanfrecce but it wasn't enough for the hosts as Kashima celebrated reaching the quarter-finals for the third time in their history.