Perfect Nagoya closes in on Asian Champions League last 16

The 3-0 win over Ratchaburi was the fourth in a row in Group G for Massimo Ficcadenti's side. Nagoya leads the standings by three points.

Japan's Nagoya Grampus player Mateus Castro (C) celebrates with teammates Manabu Saito (L) and Naoki Maeda (R) after scoring against Thailand's Ratchaburi during an AFC Champions League Group G football match at the Rajamangala Stadium in Bangkok.   -  AFP

Nagoya Grampus moved a step closer to the knockout rounds of the Asian Champions League on Thursday as three second-half goals earned the Japanese club a 3-0 win over Ratchaburi in Bangkok.

The win was the fourth in a row in Group G for Massimo Ficcadenti's side, which moved on to 12 points thanks to goals from Mateus, Yoichiro Kakitani and Ryogo Yamasaki and left the Thais with no chance of progressing to the round of 16.

Nagoya leads the standings by three points from Pohang Steelers after the South Koreans handed Malaysia's Johor Darul Ta'zim a 2-0 defeat.

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Lee Seung-moo put the three-times Asian champion in front 12 minutes before the interval when he fired into the top corner and Kang Sang-woo doubled his side's lead with a composed finish four minutes later to end JDT's hopes of a top-two finish.

Only the winners in each of the five groups being played in east Asia are certain to advance to the next phase of the competition, where they will be joined by the three best runners-up.

Two-time winner Jeonbuk Hyundai boosted its hopes of reaching the last 16 with a 9-0 thrashing of Singapore's Tampines Rover in Group H in Tashkent.

Brazilian striker Gustavo scored four while former Swansea City forward Mo Barrow hit a hat-trick in the most one-sided game of the group phase.

Jeonbuk sits on seven points from its first three games and is now two points clear of Gamba Osaka after the Japanese club was held to a 1-1 draw by Chiangrai United from Thailand.

Leandro Pereira put the 2008 champion ahead two minutes into the second half when he slid in to meet Yota Sato's cross but Chiangrai striker Bill netted four minutes into stoppage-time time to claim a point for his side.

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Group games in the eastern half of the competition are being played in biosecure hubs in Thailand and Uzbekistan ahead of the round of 16, which is due to be held in September.

Clubs in west Asia completed their group stage commitments in April and the competition's final is slated to be played in late November.

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