Jeonbuk down Victory to reach quarter-finals

Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors of Korea Republic reached the quarter-finals of the AFC Champions League thanks to a brace from Brazilian Leonardo when they defeated Melbourne Victory 2-1 in the second leg played at Jeonju on Tuesday.

In the first leg played in Melbourne on May 17, the match ended in a 1-1 draw with Besart Berisha getting the opening goal for the home side and Leonardo getting the equaliser.

On Tuesday, Jeonbuk took the lead in the 29th minute when Leonardo scored with a free-kick from the left which flew into the top corner. He then scored again in the 71st minute to put his side 2-0 up, but in the 84th minute, Berisha pulled a goal back for the visitors with a header from a cross by Jai Ingham.

Despite Victory’s late rally, it was a little too late as Jeonbuk went on to win 3-2 on aggregate.

Both sides had chances early in the first half, as Leonardo shot wide from long-range  and a cross from Jason Geria found the head of  Archie Thompson. Thompson’s effort was saved by keeper Kwoun Sun-tae, before the Victory striker’s shot from the rebound was blocked by defender Choi Chul-soon.

Jeonbuk kept pushing forward and were denied by a good save from Melbourne keeper Lawrence Thomas, when he turned Lee Dong-gook’s shot around the post for a corner.

Then in the 29th minute, the opening goal was scored when Leonardo scored with a free-kick from the edge of the area into the far corner that Thomas could not keep out.

The home side nearly got a second goal shortly afterwards when there was a defensive mix-up and the ball fell to Han Kyo-won, but he shot wide with only the keeper to beat.

Just before the half-time break Melbourne had a rare chance when the Jeonbuk defence failed to clear a corner kick and the ball fell to Nick Ansell who shot wide.

During the second half, Melbourne got more and more into the match but could not get the equaliser.

Then in the 71st minute, Jeonbuk went two goals up when Ricardo Lopes passed the ball from the left to Leonardo on the edge of the area and he hammered a first-time shot to give his side the 2-0 lead.

With 10 minutes remaining, Lopes nearly scored when his shot hit the bar then shortly after Melbourne’s Kosta Barbarouses hit the left upright with a shot.

Melbourne did score in the 84th minute when Berisha scored with a header from an Ingham cross from the right to make the score 2-1.

Jeonbuk held out for the 3-2 win on aggregate and a place in the quarter-finals.