Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors reached its third Asian Champions League final thanks to beating FC Seoul 5-3 on aggregate, after losing the second leg of their semifinal 2-1 on Wednesday.
In the all-South Korean matchup at Seoul World Cup Stadium, Jeonbuk, the league champion in 2006 and finalist in 2011, didn’t look in trouble of not advancing after winning the first leg 4-1.
“It was a big win for us and that opened the pathway to the final,” Jeonbuk coach Choi Kang-hee said. “Of course, we had to keep our concentration in the second leg. It was a very tough semifinal for us and we know that there is still work to do. ”
Adriano gave Seoul hope after 38 minutes, but Brazilian compatriot Ricardo Lopes made it 1-1 just before the hour.
Ko Kwang Min won the second leg for Seoul not long before the end but it was too late.
“We fought hard and were looking good in the first half,” Seoul coach Hwang Sun-hong said. “We were pushing for that second goal. So I am sorry for the fans who came out to support us in good numbers. We had a good campaign and the players did their best. ”
Jeonbuk will face Al Ain of the United Arab Emirates, the champion in 2003, in the two-leg final next month.
The final marks the first between teams from the league’s east and west.
Al Ain also won its semifinal 5-3 on aggregate. The UAE powerhouse defeated El Jaish of Qatar 3-1 in the first leg and tied the return match 2-2.
Al Sadd’s defeat of Jeonbuk in 2011 is the only West Asian win since 2005.
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