Advantage Jeonbuk in AFC Champions League final

Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors came from a goal down to beat Al Ain 2-1 in their 2016 AFC Champions League final 1st leg tie at the Jeonju World Cup Stadium on Saturday.

Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors 2 Al Ain 1

Both sides fail to score in opening half

Moreno opens the scoring for away side

Leonardo brace puts home side ahead

Full report

In a first-half where both sides looked nervy, the hosts opted for a more direct approach with long balls directed at Al Ain’s defence – but failed to really test goalkeeper Khalid Eisa.

Al Ain’s midfielder Ahmed Barman and Mohamed Abdulrahman had great early chances but never captalised on their half-chances afforded by the home defence.

Star Jeonbuk attacker Leonardo made some decent inroads mid-way through the half, but even the attack minded Brazilian was unable to inspire his side to the opening goal.

Their lack of clinical finishing nearly came back to haunt them just before the break when Mohamed Abdulrahman came close to beating goalkeeper Sun Tae Kwoun – in the last real move of the half.

In the second-half, ‘The Leaders’ looked to push forward a bit more in search of a vital away goal and they toiled away at the South Korean side’s defence, who drew plaudits throughout the competition this season.

Danilo Asprilla and the skillful attacker Omar Abdulrahman provided dangerous outlets going forward but it was the Brazilian Leonardo who came closest on the hour mark with a fierce drive at Eisa.

The attacking pair then seemed to take things into their own hands and barely three minutes after nearly falling behind, they got their away goal as Abdulrahman laid off a sumptuous pass for the Colombian to grab that important away goal.

With the home crowd silent after falling behind their star player finally came to the fore with a quick-fire brace.

The first, assisted by 37-year-old forward Lee Dong-gook and the second, from the penalty spot after referee Ahmed Al-Kaf punished left-back Mohammed Fayez for an unneeded foul.

Both sides exploded into life in the last 15 minutes but the score remained 2-1 with the tie evenly poised thanks to Asprilla’s away goal – which sets up a mouth watering second leg on November 26 at the Hazza Bin Zayed Stadium.

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