KAWASAKI (Kyodo) Kawasaki Frontale will meet defending champion and J. League rival Gamba Osaka in the last 16 of the Asian Champions League after a 2-0 defeat to South Korea’s Pohang Steelers in their final group-stage match on Tuesday.

Kawasaki had hoped to avoid a trip to Gamba’s Expo Stadium on June 24 by clinching Group H, but No Byung Jun fired Pohang into the lead with a stunning free kick early in the first half and Denilson sealed the victory 18 minutes from time at Todoroki Stadium.

Pohang leapfrogged Kawasaki to finish top of the group with 12 points, two ahead of Frontale, and will meet the runnerup in Group E in the next round.

“It’s disappointing,” said Kawasaki manager Takashi Sekizuka.

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