Victory a chance to make last 16 of ACL
IT MIGHT have suffered a 3-1 loss away to Shanghai SIPG, but Melbourne Victory's hopes of progressing to the knockout stages of the Asian Champions League are still alive.
Korean outfit Suwon downed Gamba Osaka 2-1 in the other Group G game to move level with the Victory on six competition points, ensuring the race for second spot would come down to the final Group matches on May 3.
Playing host to Gamba at home, Victory will need to match or better Suwon's result against top-of-the-group SIPG to advance to the last 16.
Two goals in two minutes did the damage to the Melbourne team, with Yu Hai and Elkeson netting just prior to the break to put the Chinese side in control.
Dario Conca sealed the result midway through the second half from the penalty spot, to confirm Shanghai SIPG as Group G winners with a game to spare.
Jesse Makarounas pulled one back for Victory with less than 10 minutes to go, but it proved to be little more than consolation.
Meanwhile, Sydney FC qualified for the round of 16 for the first time thanks to Guangzhou Evergrande's win over Pohang Steelers in South Korea.
Evergrande needed a win to stay alive, and the defending champion recorded a comfortable 2-0 victory at The Steelyard.
The result means the Sky Blues cannot finish any lower than second in Group H.
They would have secured top spot with a win over the Urawa Red Diamonds at Allianz Stadium last night.