Guangzhou Evergrande took their fans from the depths of despair to delirium as a late strike from Paulinho sent them into the 2015 FIFA Club World Cup semi-final with a 2-1 win over Club America on Sunday.
Oribe Peralta had given CONCACAF Champions League champions the lead early in the second period, before Guangzhou’s substitute Zheng Long restored the parity in the 80th minute.
But Paulinho’s stoppage-time header completed a late comeback for the Asian Champions League winners to secure a showdown with tournament favourites Barcelona on December 17 in Yokohama.
“Football is a 90 minute game and we really wanted to make the semi-finals, so I made some high-risk substitutions,” said Guangzhou coach Luiz Felipe Scolari after the game.
“On this occasion, they worked – on another night it might not have done. But I know the team – and I know what they can do.
“Club America are a huge team, with a fantastic history but we fought back and won and we should continue to dream big for the next match against Barcelona. Victory is not impossible.”