Guangzhou Evergrande suffered a heartbreaking 5-4 defeat on penalties to nine-man Chinese Super League rivals Shanghai SIPG after coming agonisingly close to a sensational AFC Champions League comeback win.
It appeared that Guangzhou, winners of the tournament in 2013 and 2015, faced an impossible task to progress after losing the away leg of their quarter-final tie 4-0 three weeks ago.
But they won Tuesday's return leg by the same margin and then emerged from an extra-time period that saw two Shanghai SIPG players see red with a 5-1 lead, forcing a shoot-out.
However, Andre Villas-Boas' men were able to survive and reach the last four, winning by a solitary spot-kick after Ricardo Goulart, who had earlier scored a hat-trick, hit the post with Guangzhou's first penalty.
That allowed Yu Hai to eventually score the clincher for Shanghai SIPG, whose only goal in the match itself was a magnificent Hulk free-kick.
Guangzhou's hopes of a dream comeback were launched when Alan netted twice in the first half to take his Champions League tally to seven for the campaign.
Shanghai SIPG thought they had weathered the storm when Goulart hit the crossbar in the second half and they still held a two-goal aggregate lead with seven minutes left.
But that was when the chaos truly began, as Goulart stunned the visitors with a quickfire double, his second – a header from Li Xuepeng's cross – coming in the first minute of stoppage time and sparking wild celebrations from Luiz Felipe Scolari and the home dugout.
Guangzhou then became hot favourites to triumph when Shanghai SIPG substitute Wang Jiajie was sent off in the first period of extra time, receiving a second yellow for a rash foul on Alan.
But, on 110 minutes, Hulk netted a 30-yard free-kick for the shorthanded visitors to score in his eighth consecutive AFC Champions League appearance, part of a stunning continental campaign that has also seen him produce seven assists.
Guangzhou still fought back with two minutes left to go when Wang Shenchao saw red for Muriqui, allowing Goulart to strike from 12 yards.
Then it was penalties, where nine out of 10 spot-kicks found the target and Goulart, after his stunning performance in the match itself, was the unfortunate villain of the shoot-out, ending a tie that will live long in the memory.
In Tuesday's other quarter-final, Persepolis battled to a 5-3 aggregate victory over Al-Ahli.
After coming from two goals down to 2-2 draw in the first leg, the Iranian visitors won 3-1 in the second despite playing for most of the match with 10 men.
Ali Alipour put Persepolis in front, before midfielder Kamal Kamyabinia was sent off after 11 minutes.
Kamal Kamyabinia equalised for Al-Ahli, but the hosts themselves were reduced to 10 when Motaz Hawsawi saw red for a handball which conceded an 83rd-minute penalty.
Substitute Godwin Mensha converted the spot-kick and Mehdi Taremi scored his seventh of the competition in the fourth minute of stoppage time.
They will meet another team from Saudi Arabia in the last four in the shape of Al-Hilal.
|Las Palmas get green light to sign Viera replacement amid Nasri talk|
|FA issue West Ham with anti-doping charge|
|Florenzi a doubt to face Shakhtar, confirms Roma´s Di Francesco|
|Maybe we could kill him – Montella ponders how to stop Sanchez|
|Pogba and Ibrahimovic train with Man Utd ahead of Sevilla tie|
|Zidane hints at resting Ronaldo for Real Madrid´s trip to Leganes|
|Modric adds to Real Madrid injury worries|
|Wolfsburg turn to Labbadia in fight for Bundesliga survival|
|Wigan to investigate pitch invasion after win over Manchester City|
|Drogba ´couldn´t be more proud´ as son signs for Guingamp|
|Stones making no excuses for shock Wigan defeat|
|Bellugi scathing of Inter form and transfer policy|
|Rakitic: I´ve not seen Messi in the gym this often|
|Besiktas face Bayern test, Messi seeks to end drought - Champions League in Opta numbers|
|Sevilla v Manchester United: Montella and Mourinho unified in pursuit of identity|
|Jose Morais: The Mourinho acolyte bringing Barcelona to Barnsley|
|Rakitic: More to Chelsea than just Hazard|
|Klopp tactics behind my form – Salah|
|Young: Man United can win Champions League|
|Messi is best but ´not invincible´, says Pedro|
|It´s a red card – Guardiola accepts Delph sending off amid City´s Wigan woe|
|Aguero lashes out at fan as tempers flare after Wigan stun Man City|
|Grigg revels in dousing Manchester City´s fire|
|Wigan Athletic 1 Manchester City 0: Grigg ends Guardiola´s quadruple dream|
|Messi the best but don´t forget Suarez, says Chelsea boss Conte|
|I need a great game – Hazard aiming for Messi heights|
|AFC Champions League Review: El-Arabi´s brace seals Al Wahda´s fate|
|Barcelona boss Valverde tells Chelsea: History counts|
|Schmidt departs as Wolfsburg face relegation fight|
|Madrid, Barca & PSG are Champions League favourites, says Heynckes|
|Former football coach Bennell sentenced to 31 years|
|Hummels wary of ´top European team´ as Bayern prepare for Besiktas|
|WATCH: ´Crazy´ Evra drives to West Ham training in London cab|
|Barca clash a chance for Chelsea ´to do things right´, proclaims Rudiger|
|Lucas claims Tottenham can win Champions League|
|Barcelona tie will not decide Conte´s Chelsea future, says Deco|
|Lewandowski won´t be distracted by Real Madrid rumours|
|Man Utd must not underestimate Sevilla - Navas|
|Iniesta will not be made welcome at Stamford Bridge, warns Azpilicueta|
|Ballack sees ´a big difference´ between Bundesliga and Premier League|
|Betis boss would have preferred to face Madrid´s BBC|
|Chelsea v Barcelona: Messi´s blues against the Blues|
|James leaving Madrid was the best thing, says father|
|He´s looking good – Zidane thrilled with Ronaldo|
|It needs to take 30 seconds – Matic wants quicker VAR|
|Gattuso: My job is to be the players´ nightmare until season´s end|
|I wasn´t good enough – Guardiola reveals Wigan rejection|
|Brazilian derby between Vitoria and Bahia abandoned after red-card frenzy|
|It was crazy, but I like that - Zidane revels in eight-goal Betis thriller|
|Asensio credits Zidane for Madrid´s thrilling Betis comeback|
|Zidane hopeful over Marcelo hamstring injury|
|Bonaventura claims Milan can catch Inter|
|Bravo for Claudio! Guardiola to pick keeper at Wembley|
|Mourinho hoping for reinforcements at Sevilla|
|Real Madrid become first side to score 6,000 goals in LaLiga|
|Real Betis 3 Real Madrid 5: Asensio at the double in LaLiga classic|
|AC Milan 1 Sampdoria 0: Bonaventura makes it 10 unbeaten for Rossoneri|
|Schurrle excited to finally link up with Reus and Gotze|
|Real Madrid defender Marcelo suffers hamstring injury|
|Costa fumes referees ´want to give me a card´, but Simeone plays down penalty row|
|Stoger makes Dortmund history with Gladbach win|
|Championship Review: Leeds fight back for point, Norwich & Ipswich share derby spoils|
|Borussia Monchengladbach 0 Borussia Dortmund 1: Burki unbeatable as Reus returns to haunt Foals|
|FA Cup ´magic´ no surprise to Pochettino after Rochdale thriller|
|Rochdale hero Davies: This is every kid´s dream|
|Atletico Madrid will not stop in pursuit of Barcelona, promises Gameiro|
|´Wrong image´ to blame for VAR confusion in Manchester United´s FA Cup win|
|Rochdale 2 Tottenham 2: Davies denies Kane in FA Cup classic|
|Atletico Madrid 2 Athletic Bilbao 0: Gameiro and Costa settle cagey clash|
|Napoli set club record with another Serie A win|
|Napoli 1 SPAL 0: Allan sends hosts top of Serie A again|
|Allegri allays Higuain injury fears|
|Allegri convinced Juve can get past Spurs|
|Everton fear ´long-term´ injury for Mangala|
|If it isn´t Madrid, it´s Paris - Hazard tires of speculation|
|Torino 0 Juventus 1: Champions win derby but lose Higuain|
|Neymar exit made Barcelona stronger - Ter Stegen|
|Injured Higuain forced off against Torino|
|Jesus confident of returning strong after knee injury|
|We had to change hotels – Ovrebo recalls fury after 2009 Chelsea-Barcelona semi-final|
|Spalletti: Inter board will decide my future|
|Fabregas still wary of timeless Iniesta|
|Liverpool´s 30-goal hero Salah: There´s more to come|
|Valverde: Coutinho dropped for the good of Barcelona|
|Ronaldo better than Neymar? No says Xavi|
|Real Madrid hurt you with nothing – Xavi says PSG loss an injustice|
|Conte: Chelsea need perfect game to stop Messi and Barcelona|
|Inter in a fragile moment, says Spalletti|
|Booed Emery praises PSG´s mental strength|