Korea’s Motors roar into Asian final
SEOUL: Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors stormed into the AFC Champions League final with a 5-3 aggregate victory over FC Seoul despite losing the all-Korean semi-final’s second leg 2-1 yesterday. After Jeonbuk had dominated the first leg 4-1, Brazilian marksman Adriano gave the home side hope when he slotted a record-equalling 13th goal of the tournament in the first half.
But Jeonbuk’s Ricardo Lopes doused any hopes of a comeback by equalising on 59 minutes, before Seoul’s Ko Kwang-Min grabbed a consolation goal for Seoul in injury time. Jeonbuk, the 2006 champions, now go into a blockbuster two-legged final next month against fellow former winners Al Ain and their feted playmaker Omar Abdulrahman. The K-League leaders also reach their third Asian final despite a domestic scandal. They were deducted nine points and fined after one of their scouts was convicted of bribing referees.
“We fought hard and were looking good in the first half,” said FC Seoul’s coach Hwang Sun-Hong. “The second goal was important and we were pushing for that.
“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... we have learned from this experience and we will come back stronger.”
FC Seoul’s Adriano was in the thick of it during an electric first half in front of a noisy crowd as the hosts pressed for the goals they needed to overturn their first-leg deficit.
The Brazilian shot just wide on 16 minutes and headed off-target eight minutes later. Elsewhere, Jeonbuk midfielder Kim Bo-Kyung was bloodied by a flailing elbow before playing on with a bandaged head. — AFP
SEOUL: Go Yo-han, right, of South Korea’s FC Seoul fights for the ball against Jang Yun-ho of South Korea’s Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors during the second leg of AFC Champions League semifinal soccer match at Seoul World Cup Stadium in Seoul, yesterday. — AP