Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors won the AFC Champions League final 3-2 on aggregate after a thrilling second-leg 1-1 draw with Al Ain at the Hazza Bin Zayed Stadium on Saturday.
- Al Ain 1 Jeonbuk 1
- Kyo-won opens the scoring
- Myung-Joo levels matters
- Douglas misses penalty
- Jeonbuk hold out for CL glory
Jeonbuk opened the scoring on the half-hour mark through midfielder Han Kyo-won but Al Ain’s Lee Myung-joo soon equaled the scores less than five minutes later.
Just before half-time Brazil forward Douglas missed a crucial penalty for the hosts.
There were no further goals in the second half as the South Koreans held firm to secure their AFC Champions League title.
— AFC Champions League (@TheAFCCL) November 26, 2016
The second-leg of the AFC Champions League final proved to a thrilling encounter in the United Arab Emirates.
Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors held a slender one goal lead after their 2-1 home victory in the first-leg at home and surprisingly looked towards an attacking brand of football in the return fixture.
They were dealt a bitter blow as early as the fifth minute, though, when Ricardo Lopes had to be hauled off through injury and replaced by midfielder Han Kyo-won.
Omar Abdulrahman and Leonardo, the stars of this season’s competition, had chances on either ends for their respective sides but on the half-hour mark it was the South Koreans who took the lead.
A blessing in disguise, as the earlier substitute, Kyo-won latched onto a crisp delivery from Lee Jae Sung to put his side ahead, 1-0 on the night and 3-1 on aggregate.
Zlatko Dalic’s side knew they had to push hard in order to stay in the game and they did just that as Lee Myung-joo restored parity less than five minutes later, a scuffed volley that bounced and evaded the reach of Jeonbuk keeper Kwoun Sun-tae.
And shortly before half-time, ‘The Leaders’ were awarded a penalty when Danilo Asprilla was brought down in the area by Kim Hyun-gil.
However, Brazilian forward Douglas failed to convert, much to the dismay of the Al Ain technical team. A disgruntled Dalic was sent to the stands by referee Ryuji Sato soon after following a scuffle on the sidelines.
In the second half, Al Ain defender Mohanad Salem went close after rising highest from a set-piece but his header went just side of the post.
The near miss sparked a period of intensity in the final with Kyo-won, Salem, Park Won-jae and Kim Shin-wook all receiving yellow cards from referee Ryuji Sato – in quick succession.
With Dak Gong Noksekjunsa still holding the slender 3-2 aggregate lead, the home side pushed forward in numbers but Ibrahim Diaky and Myung-joo both couldn’t get the better of Soon-Tae.
On the break, star attacker Leonardo was always a threat for Choi Kang-hee’s men, as he clearly instructed for his side to stay compact in the final stages.
And that’s exactly what they managed to do, securing a draw away from home to secure their first continental triumph in ten years.