Preview - Round of 16 2nd Leg: Sanfrecce Hiroshima (0) v (1) Kashima Antlers
Hiroshima: Defending champions Kashima Antlers travel to compatriots Sanfrecce Hiroshima on Tuesday with a 1-0 advantage from the Round of 16 first leg tie at Kashima Soccer Stadium.
A week ago, Kashima snapped Sanfrecce's run of five consecutive AFC Champions League victories and the visitors come into the tie looking to progress to their third appearance in the quarter-finals.
A Serginho goal in the first leg was the difference for the 2018 winners, and it was a return to the kind of form the Brazilian showed in last year's campaign as the forward netted his sixth goal in seven knockout stage ties.
Sanfrecce, meanwhile, are looking to advance to the quarter final stage of the AFC Champions League for the very first time and they will be relying on their impressive home form.
Ibaraki: Shoma Doi has admitted that it is vital Kashima Antlers will start the second leg of the 2019 AFC Champions League Round of 16 against Sanfrecce Hiroshima in the lead after the holders secured a hard-fought 1-0 victory in the first leg on Tuesday.
The clash at Kashima Soccer Stadium paired the two sides against Japanese opposition for the first time ever in the Continental competition and it was Sanfrecce who went into the game as the form team having won five in a row in the group stage.
But in a closely contested match it was defending champions Kashima who gained the upper hand after Brazilian Serginho scored the only goal of the game midway through the first half following excellent work from Doi.
Kuala Lumpur: The stakes are raised in this week's AFC Champions League as the identity of the four quarter-finalists from the East will be decided in the Round of 16 second leg matches on Tuesday and Wednesday.
All four of the last 16 ties are tantilisingly poised - either level or with a team holding a slim one goal advantage - and promise some rollercoaster action to come. The-AFC.com has picked out five things to look out for ahead of the games.
Kashima: Sanfrecce Hiroshima midfielder Tsukasa Morishima admitted that conceding first put the visitors on the backfoot against AFC Champions League holders Kashima Antlers after Tuesday's Round of 16 first leg defeat in Ibaraki.
Sanfrecce had entered the tie at Kashima Soccer Stadium on the back of a five-match winning run in the Continental tournament, but on 24 minutes the hosts' Brazilian star Serginho rediscovered his golden touch at this phase of the competition to net his sixth goal in seven knockout stage appearances.
The away side responded to going behind and would ultimately dominate possesion (60 percent to 40 percent) as well as have more efforts on goal than their hosts in the match, but they were unable to make their chances count.
The late sending off of midfielder Sho Inagaki also compounded matters on a difficult night for Morishima and his teammates.
Kuala Lumpur: Hot on the heels of the first legs of the 2019 AFC Champions League Round of 16 fixtures, the eight remaining sides in the East Zone will reconvene for the return meetings on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Holders Kashima Antlers, Guangzhou Evergrande and Ulsan Hyundai all take slim leads into the second legs, while the tie between Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors and Shanghai SIPG is still firmly in the balance.
Kashima Antlers earned a slim advantage over J.League rivals Sanfrecce Hiroshima after the first leg of the AFC Champions League last 16 with a 1-0 win at home on Tuesday.
Serginho proved to be the lone goalscorer of the match with a first-half header for the defending champions. This was the first all-Japanese tie in the Round of 16 since 2011 and the 17th overall between clubs from Japan in the history of the AFC Champions League.
Both sides were coming off inspiring 2-0 home wins in domestic competition at the weekend as the title holders and Hiroshima clashed for the first time in Asia’s flagship club tournament.
ACL 2019 Allianz Goal of the Week: Moon Seon-min (Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors FC)
Kuala Lumpur: The-AFC.com has announced that Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors FC's Moon Seon-min is the winner of this week’s Goal of the Week presented by Allianz for the first leg of the 2019 AFC Champions League Round of 16.