Jeonbuk beat Seoul, to meet Al Ain in Champions League final

Jeonbuk beat Seoul, to meet Al Ain in Champions League final
By Reuters

19/10/2016 at 13:46Updated 19/10/2016 at 13:57

South Korean champions Jeonbuk Motors laboured into the final of the Asian Champions League on Wednesday when a 2-1 loss at FC Seoul gave them a 5-3 aggregate victory and set up a title clash with Al Ain of the United Arab Emirates.

With a healthy 4-1 advantage over their fellow K-League side from the first leg, Jeonbuk were strong favourites to reach the final for the third time after their 2006 title triumph and finishing runners-up in 2011.

After half an hour without any clear chances, Jeonbuk's Kim Chang-soo nearly scored with a low shot which Yoo Hyun dived to his left to stop.

FC Seoul soon took the lead instead with Adriano giving the hosts a glimmer of hope by tapping in from close range seven minutes before the break.

Adriano's compatriot Ricardo Lopes equalised near the hour mark, however, the Brazilian striker shrugging off his marker with a swift turn and drilling the ball past Yoo Hyan in the FC Seoul goal.

That looked to be enough to secure Jeonbuk passage to the final, which is also played over two legs, and when Ko Kwang-min scored with a fine strike from outside the box in stoppage time, it was only ever going to be a consolation for FC Seoul.

Al Ain, champions in 2003 and runners-up in 2005, reached their third final courtesy of Tuesday's 2-2 draw with Qatar's El Jaish in Doha, which gave them a 5-3 victory on aggregate.

Captain Omar Abdulrahman extended Al Ain's 3-1 aggregate lead and broke the second leg deadlock with a confident left-foot finish after 57 minutes but El Jaish struck back with two goals from Brazilian Romarinho.

That left the tie in the balance for a frantic last 10 minutes until Abdulrahman's brother Mohamed secured the draw and a place in the final deep into stoppage time.

"El Jaish played very well tonight and I've said previously that they have some excellent players," said Al Ain's Croatian coach Zlatko Dalic.

"But qualifying for the final is a big achievement for us and is the fruit of the great effort that we have put in during the entire year."