Kuala Lumpur: Fans across the Continent are still talking about one of the most memorable weeks in the history of the AFC Champions League. The 2017 quarter-finals produced some incredible performances, an agonisingly close revival and a truly breathtaking comeback.
Guangzhou Evergrande v Shanghai SIPG
Guangzhou Evergrande nearly pulled off the great escape against Shanghai SIPG, overcoming a 0-4 first leg deficit before succumbing to their Chinese Super League rivals in a dramatic penalty shootout at the Tianhe Stadium on Tuesday night.
It was, said Shanghai SIPG’s Yan Junling, the “craziest” game he has ever been involved in.
Urawa Red Diamonds v Kawasaki Frontale
Urawa Red Diamonds, meanwhile completed a sensational two-goal deficit comeback in their AFC Champions League quarter-final second leg on Wednesday, beating Kawasaki Frontale 4-1 to progress to the semi-finals 5-4 on aggregate.
They will now play Shanghai SIPG in the semi-finals on Sept 27 and Oct 18, ties which promise to be crackers as well.
Al Ahli v Persepolis
Islamic Republic of Iran’s Persepolis, having come from two goals down in the first leg to force a 2-2 draw, showed nerves of steel as they defeated Al Ahli 3-1 in the return tie on Tuesday.
Persepolis’ second and third goals came from late penalties, as Godwin Mensha and Mahdi Taremi kept their cool to convert from the spot.
Al Hilal v Al Ain
Persepolis will face Saudi Arabian side Al Hilal in the semi-finals.
Al Hilal, thanks to a brilliant hat-trick from Carlos Eduardo, saw off Al Ain of the United Arab Emirates 3-0 on Monday, signalling that they are indeed worthy contenders for the AFC Champions League 2017 title.
In fact, all four semi-finalists are.
Photo: Lagardère Sports