Guangzhou Evergrande and Kashima Antlers seized the initiative in the first legs of their respective AFC Champions League last-16 ties.
Fabio Cannavaro's Guangzhou were 2-1 winners in their opening encounter against fellow Chinese Super League side Shandong Luneng.
Wei Shihao opened the scoring after Shandong goalkeeper Wang Dalei failed to deal with Paulinho's cross, but Zhang Chi was teed up by Marouane Fellaini for a potentially crucial away goal in the second half at Tianhe Stadium.
Guangzhou secured a fortuitous winner 10 minutes from time when Yang Liyu's cross deflected off Zheng Zheng and Wang was unable to keep it out.
FULL-TIME | Guangzhou Evergrande 2-1 Shandong Luneng— AFC Champions League (@TheAFCCL) June 18, 2019
Guangzhou defeat domestic rivals Shandong after an end-to-end second half and will take a narrow lead into the nd leg in Jinan.#GUAvSDL #ACL2019 pic.twitter.com/KjlwOfQvtS
Kashima secured a 1-0 victory over Sanfrecce Hiroshima in Tuesday's other match.
Shoma Doi drove into the area from the halfway line and saw his cross loop over goalkeeper Hirotsugu Nakabayashi after a touch off Yuki Nogami, with Serginho on hand to head home.
Sanfrecce will go into the return fixture without Sho Inagaki after the midfielder was show two yellow cards in the space of four minutes late in the second half.