Kashima Antlers missed the chance to secure their place in the AFC Champions League last 16 as Johor Darul Ta'Zim clinched a 1-0 victory – the Malaysian side's first ever win in the competition.
Johor dominated the reigning champions and deservedly took the lead after 69 minutes, when Syafiq Ahmad's mazy dribble took him through on goal where he curled the ball beyond Kashima goalkeeper Kwoun Sun-tae from an awkward angle.
The result left Go Oiwa's side in need of a win when they face Shandong Luneng in their final Group E match on May 22 to make sure of their place in the knockout phase.
Johor are bottom of the group with four points and cannot progress.
In Group E's other game, Marouane Fellaini scored the winner as Shandong made certain of their place in the last 16 with a 2-1 comeback victory over Gyeongnam.
Kim Seung-jun gave the Korean side the lead two minutes before half-time, finishing a crisp passing move with an instinctive first-time finish, but Hao Junmin levelled the score 20 minutes into the second half with a curling free-kick from just outside the area.
With three minutes left and a draw looming, Fellaini launched Shandong onto the offensive before arriving in the box to meet Zhang Chi's cross and power a header into the net to ensure his side finish top of the group.
Sanfrecce Hiroshima could yet be caught at the top of Group F but their 1-0 victory over Guangzhou Evergrande was enough to confirm their progression to the round of 16.
It was an unfortunate evening for Guangzhou defender Li Xuepeng, whose glancing touch on Tsukasa Morishima's in-swinging corner sent the ball bouncing over the head of his own goalkeeper Liu Dianzuo and into the net.
In the day's other game, Daegu took a step closer to the knockout stage with a comfortable 4-0 victory over Group F's bottom club Melbourne Victory.
Edgar opened the scoring from the penalty spot after nine minutes and second-half goals from Jeong Tae-wook, Kim Dae-won and Jung Seon-ho left Victory with a solitary point from their five group games while the Korean side are second, three points behind Sanfrecce with one game left.