However, the big Brazilian’s soft penalty was parried by Wanderers goalkeeper Ante Covic, who dived the right way to keep the visitors in front. The mood was darkening at Tianhe stadium and it became bleak when home goalkeeper Zeng Cheng up-ended Mark Bridge, and Tomi Juric coolly slotted the penalty on 57 minutes.
But Guangzhou’s response came swiftly and just four minutes later, Gilardino’s knock-down was smashed home by his compatriot Alessandro Diamanti to make it 1-1 on the night. Guangzhou poured forward but Gilardino, Elkeson and Dong Xuesheng all let good opportunities slip as the champions’ title defence ebbed away.
Elkeson finally hit the net a minute into injury time but there was to be no fairytale comeback for the financially well-endowed team tagged "the Manchester United of Asia",Cheap Fifa Coins;.
Meanwhile in Seoul, 210 minutes of goalless football gave way to an extraordinary shoot-out when ‘keeper Yu saved kicks from Hwang Ji-Soo, Kim Jae-Sung and Park Hee-Chul. Kim Jin-Kyu also missed a penalty for FC Seoul but Everton Santos, Osmar Barba and Mauricio Molina converted for the 2013 runners-up to send them through to the last four once again.
In the other semi-final, Saudi Arabia’s Al Hilal will meet 2003 AFC Champions League winners Al Ain of the United Arab Emirates, with the first leg in Riyadh on 16 September.