Yuma Suzuki's brace helped Kashima Antlers steal top spot in Group E from Muangthong United in a 2-1 win to set up an AFC Champions League last-16 tie with Guangzhou Evergrande.
Both teams were already assured of their place in the knockout stages, but top spot was still up for grabs and the hosts went in front in the 19th minute at Kashima Soccer Stadium when Suzuki coolly steered home inside the penalty area.
Teerasil Dangda drilled home an equaliser on the stroke of half-time, only for Suzuki to restore Kashima's lead on the hour by heading home Yasushi Endo's cross.
Kashima now face two-time victors Guangzhou, while Muangthong meet Japanese opponents again in the form of Kawasaki Frontale.
In Group E's other match, Ulsan Hyundai consigned Brisbane Roar to bottom place with a 3-2 win at Suncorp Stadium, despite Jamie MacLaren's double for the home side.
Urawa Red Diamonds took top billing in Group F despite a 1-0 loss at FC Seoul.
The J.League side were already guaranteed to progress, but it was Seoul - who were already eliminated - that earned a consolation win thanks to Yoon Seung-won's effort.
Urawa now face Jeju United in the next round.
Shanghai SIPG could have taken top spot but fell to a 3-2 defeat at Western Sydney Wanderers, who scored an 89th-minute winner through Jaushua Sotirio.
SIPG finished level on points with Urawa but have an inferior head-to-head record and they now face an all-Chinese tie with Jiangsu Suning.