Tianjin Quanjian 0 Kashima Antlers 3 (0-5 agg): Semifinal spot booked in resounding fashion

Tianjin Quanjian was no match for Kashima Antlers, whose 3-0 win sealed a 5-0 aggregate victory and an AFC Champions League last-four spot.

Kashima Antlers celebrate against Tianjin Quanjian   -  Twitter @TheAFCCL

Kashima Antlers cruised into the semifinals of the AFC Champions League as a 3-0 win at Tianjin Quanjian secured a 5-0 aggregate thumping.

The J.League side prevailed 2-0 on home soil late last month and when Serginho, who netted the second in that victory, scored the opener in Tuesday's return leg in the 13th minute, the tie was as good as over.

The Brazilian met captain Yasushi Endo's right-wing corner inside the six-yard box, beating Tianjin goalkeeper Zhang Lu's weak attempted punch to nod into the unguarded goal.

With any hope the home fans had of staging a comeback seemingly sucked out of the Macau Olympic Stadium, Kashima capitalised on the misery and doubled its lead in the 27th minute, Hiroki Abe sweeping home Atsuto Uchida's cut-back with the aid of a deflection.

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Former Brazil international Alexandre Pato was anonymous for Paulo Sousa's side, whose torrid outing was complete midway through the second half as substitute Shoma Doi exchanged passes with Serginho and fired into the top-left corner.

Tianjin replacement Zheng Dalun did rattle the upright a minute from time, but that was of little consequence to Kashima, who join Al Sadd and Persepolis in taking their place in the last four of the competition.

After a 3-1 first-leg win at Esteghlal, Xavi's Al Sadd advanced 5-3 on aggregate following a 2-2 draw in Doha on Monday, Baghdad Bounedjah scoring one and assisting the other.

Persepolis, meanwhile, overturned a 1-0 first-leg deficit to defeat Al Duhail 3-1 in Tehran. The semifinal line-up will be completed on Wednesday, with Suwon Bluewings defending a 3-0 lead at home to 2016 winners Jeonbuk Motors.

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