MELBOURNE, Australia (Kyodo) Kawasaki Frontale's hopes of qualifying for the knockout stage of the Asian Champions League took a hit after a 1-0 defeat at Melbourne Victory on Wednesday, but Gamba Osaka edged closer to advancing by beating Singapore's Armed Forces 3-0.
Kevin Muscat scored Melbourne's first goal of the competition from a contentious second-half penalty and 21-year-old goalkeeper Mitchell Langerak denied Kawasaki with a series of super stops to help the Australians hang on for maximum points.
The result leaves Kawasaki and Melbourne both on three points with two games left in Group E. Leaders Seongnam Ilhwa of South Korea (9) are away to second-place Beijing Guoan (6) in their next match.
The top two teams from each of the eight first-round groups advance to the knockout stage.
"We weren't able to find a way through and the result says it all," said Kawasaki manager Tsutomu Takahata.