After drama aplenty, Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors of Korea Republic made history by advancing to this December's FIFA Club World Cup in Japan with a 3-2 aggregate win over Al Karama of Syria in the 2006 AFC Champions League.
Triumphing on aggregate over Syrian giants Al Karama, the Koreans became the first East Asian team to win the continental competition, usually dominated by West Asia.
Entering the return leg of the final with a 2-0 edge from the first leg at the Jeonju FIFA World Cup Stadium one week ago meant their 1-2 defeat on the road on Wednesday was still good enough to earn them a place in Japan.
An 86th-minute header from Brazilian striker Ze Carlo proved decisive to send the Koreans through after Al Karama leveled the aggregate scoreline via second half goals from Iyad Mando and Mohamad Ibrahim.
For winning coach, Choi Kang-hee, the victory came as a timely boost for the team and their faithful after a disappointing season in the domestic league. The Jeonju-based based club are currently third-from-bottom in the K-League.
"I am extremely happy as we are now champions of Asia," said the coach at the post-match press conference. "The players were fully prepared for the contest and the they all gave their best. We employed the same tactics and attitude we used in the previous leg and it worked out for us."
On the other side of the fence, Al Karama, who had gone through to the final thanks largely to their vociferous home support, went out the hard way despite keeping their undefeated home record intact.
Cheered on by a 40,000-strong home crowd at the Khalid Bin Al Waleed Stadium, which included Syrian president Bashar Al Assad, Al Karama started brightly in the opening stages. Their first real chance came after only six minutes when Mando headed over from close range.
A quarter-hour later, Mohamad Al Hamwi tested Jeonbuk goalkeeper Kwoun Sun-tae but the midfielder couldn't guide his long-range strike on target. On 26 minutes, the Jeonbuk keeper was forced into action again to dive away a good try from Mohanad Al Ibrahim from close range.
As the game looked to be going well for Jeonbuk, coach Choi Kang-hee's charges emerged a determined side after the interval and Chung Jung-kwan nearly broke the deadlock five minutes into the second half only to see his blistering shot slip wide.
Just four minutes later Mando brought the home crowd to their feet as he tucked a rebound into an empty net after Ibrahim's shot cannoned off both posts.
In the 61st minute Mohanad Ibrahim doubled the lead to level the aggregate scoreline at 2-2. Bilal Abduldaim played the ball down the right and perfectly picked out Ibrahim, who lobbed well past the keeper from a tight angle.
The Syrians then had a very good chance to seal the deal but Joenbuk keeper Kwoun reacted well to keep Mando out in the 79th minute. Substitute Ahmed Al Omeir also saw his shot go wide in what appeared to be the last good chance for Al Karama.
The miss turned out to be a killer for the home team as, despite being marked well for the majority of game, Ze Carlo rose to the occasion to head Jeonbuk into Japan with four minutes left on the clock.