Suwon survive fightback to make Jeonbuk pay the penalty

Gabriel Tan Gabriel Tan

Suwon Samsung Bluewings are through to the AFC Champions League semi-finals on penalties despite losing 3-0 to Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors in Wednesday’s second leg at the Suwon World Cup Stadium.

Leading 3-0 heading into all-Korea Republic affair following a stunning win from the first leg, it looked as though Suwon’s progress into the last four would be a mere formality.

However, the visitors opened the scoring on the night in the 11th minute when Ricardo Lopes’ left-wing cross failed to sit for Han Kyo-won but fell kindly into the path of Adriano, who skipped past Shin Hwa-yong before slotting into the unguarded net.

Six minutes after halftime, the comeback was really on when Jeonbuk capitalised on some awful defending to score a second, after Choi Bo-kyung was somehow left completely unmarked to head home Lee Seung-gi’s corner from two yards out.

Miraculously, they then levelled the aggregate scores in the 71st minute when substitute Kim Shin-wook was picked out by an excellent cross from Lee Yong and produced a textbook header to send the ball past Shin into the top corner.

The match took another remarkable twist in injury-time when Jeonbuk were awarded a penalty, after Adriano was dragged down by Jo Sung-jin inside the box as he was about to pull the trigger after latching onto Kim’s flick-on header.

But the Brazilian spurned the opportunity as his spot-kick was saved by Shin, which sent the game into extra-time.

With neither side able to find a goal in the additional 30 minutes, it then went down to the lottery of the shootout where Shin emerged as the hero once again.

First, he kept out Kim’s opening effort and then followed up by denying the experienced Lee Dong-gook, although he was beaten by Adriano and Kim Min-jae.

Nonetheless, with Dejan Damjanovic, Lee Ki-je, Jo Sung-jin and Elvis Saric all succeeding from the spot, it was Suwon who claimed a 4-2 triumph on penalties and progress to a semi-final meeting with Japan’s Kashima Antlers.

SUWON SAMSUNG BLUEWINGS: Shin Hwa-yong, Choi Sung-geun, Jo Sung-jin, Kwak Kwang-seon, Li Ki-je, Lee Jong-sung (Cho Ji-hun 65’), Park Jong-woo, Han Eui-kwon (Kim Jong-min 75’), Elvis Saric, Lim Sang-hyub (Koo Ja-ryong 55’), Dejan Damjanovic.

JEONBUK HYUNDAI MOTORS: Song Bum-keun, Lee Yong, Kim Min-jae, Choi Bo-kyung (Lee Dong-gook 54’), Choi Chul-soon, Son Jun-ho (Shin Hyung-min 8’), Hong Jeong-ho, Han Kyo-won, Ricardo Lopes (Kim Shin-wook 66’), Lee Seung-gi, Adriano.