Tianjin Quanjian enjoyed a sweet triumph over Guangzhou Evergrande and their former head coach Fabio Cannavaro to reach the quarter-finals of the AFC Champions League.
Former Italy great Cannavaro tendered his resignation at Tianjin to re-join Guangzhou last November but a 2-2 draw on Tuesday saw his old employers progress on away goals after a first-leg stalemate.
Guangzhou led in the 17th minute when Zhang Lu failed to hold Alan Carvalho’s drive and Ricardo Goulart pounced on the rebound.
Alexandre Pato headed an quickfire equaliser from Axel Witsel’s cross and it was a similar story early in the second half, when Wang Jie swept home from close range following Goulart’s second.
Elsewhere, Esteghlal were quick to chalk off their away leg deficit against Zob Ahan in the all Iranian clash, with Mame Thiam converting an 11th-minute penalty.
Hamid Bouhamdan hit the post for the visitors but Thiam curled home an excellent second four minutes before the break and the Senegal forward completed his hat-trick in the 64th minute.
It would be a 3-2 aggregate triumph for Esteghlal as Ghasem Hadadifar’s drive gave Zob Ahan hope.
Korean side Jeonbuk Motors also overcame a first-leg deficit – a 2-0 victory against Buriram United thanks to Ricardo Lopes’ powerful volley and a Lee Jae-sung free-kick ensuring a 4-3 win overall.
Matters were somewhat easier for Qatar’s Al Duhail, who thumped Al Ain 4-1 for a dominant 8-3 aggregate win. Youssef El-Arabi helped himself to a brace.