Korea’s Motors roar into Asian final
JEONBUK Hyundai Motors stormed into the AFC Champions League final with a 5-3 aggregate victory over FC Seoul, despite losing the 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 in the all-Korean semi-final 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.
FC Seoul’s Adriano was in the thick of it during an electric first as the hosts pressed hard to overturn their first-leg goal deficit.
The Brazilian shot just wide 16 minutes in, and headed off-target eight minutes later. Jeonbuk midfielder Kim Bo-Kyung was later bloodied by a flailing elbow before playing on with a bandaged head.
It was Adriano who lifted the home side’s hopes when he charged on to Kim Chi-Woo’s cutback to put Seoul 1-0 up in the 38th minute, equalling a tournament record set in 2013 by Guangzhou Evergrande’s Muriqui.
The Motors’ win sets up a home-andaway Asian final between two sides of similar pedigree after Al Ain, who ousted Qatar’s El Jaish on October 18, won the inaugural edition in 2003 and were runners-up two years later. –
Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors forward Ricardo Lopes (centre) fights for the ball with FC Seoul midfielder Osmar Barba Ibanez during an AFC Champions League semi-final second leg in Seoul on October 19. Jeonbuk lost the match 2-1, but won the semi-final on aggregate, 5-3.