Monday's 2-2 draw Melbourne Victory wasn't enough for Thai League 1 champions Chiangrai United as their chance to advance out of the group stages faded with the final whistle.
FC Seoul's 3-1 loss to runaway leaders Beijing Guoan FC earlier in the day meant that the winner of the match between Melbourne and Chiangrai would have gone level on six points with the K League 1 side at second in Group E.
The Beetles suffered an early setback when Jake Brimmer went down inside the box and converted on the penalty. Finding themselves behind, the Thai outfit tried to find a way back into the game and Ekanit Panya hit the woodwork not much later. Instead, it was Melbourne who found the back of the net again in the 27th minute through Ben Folami who lifted the ball over Chiangrai goalkeeper Apirak Woravong to make it 2-0.
Chiangrai were handed a lifeline at the start of the second period when Melbourne custodian Matthew Acton misjudged the flight of Siwakorn Tiatrakul's free kick and let in the Thai side's first goal. Midfielder Gionata Verzura then found the equaliser in the 82nd minute to make it 2-2.
The draw wasn't enough for Chiangrai as they crashed out in the group stages with a game to spare while Melbourne's hopes of qualification rest on their next match where they will have to defeat Seoul to progress.
Ulsan through as Shanghai, Tokyo scrap for progress
Ulsan Hyundai FC progressed to the knockout stages after their fourth win in five matches while FC Tokyo and Shanghai Shenhua FC will contend for the final berth from Group F on Thursday.
The South Koreans came back from behind to defeat Tokyo 2-1, thanks to a brace from Yoon Bit-garam. Shanghai's 3-3 draw with Perth Glory in the other match means the fate of the second and third placed sides will be decided when Tokyo face Perth and Shanghai take on Ulsan.
Tokyo had a bright start to the game against Ulsan at the Education City Stadium in Al Rayyan as Kensuke Nagai netted one of the fastest goals the competition has seen with barely a minute on the clock. But Yoon leveled the engagement with a brilliant free kick just before the interval.
The winner for Ulsan came five minutes from time as Yoon slotted home substitute Won Du-jae's pass for his second score and ensuring passage to the Round of 16.
In the other group stage match, Perth took a surprise 2-0 lead by the hour mark due to goals from Bruno Fornaroli and Carlo Armiento, but Shanghai produced a stunning comeback with a brace from Giovanni Moreno restoring the parity and when Yu Hanchao pulled them ahead in the 73rd minute.
Neil Kilkenny, however, converted from the spot in the 86th minute to salvage a point for the western Australians and left Shanghai with an uphill task to progress in their final tie against Ulsan on December 3.