Hwang Jae-Won and Kim Jae-Sung headed Pohang Steelers into a commanding position following the first leg of their Asian Champions League semi-final at home to Umm Salal.
The Korean side's captain glanced in the opener in first-half stoppage time, and Kim nodded in a second with 11 minutes to go to seal a deserved victory for Pohang in a game they largely dominated throughout.
The encounter began in lively fashion as No Byung-Jun headed narrowly wide with just 40 seconds on the clock, before Denilson hit the crossbar from a wide position two minutes later.
Davi almost grabbed a precious away goal for Umm Salal when he drove into the box and lifted the ball over advancing goalkeeper Shin Hwa-Yong. However, Kim Jung-Kyum was on hand to clear behind for a corner.
Stevica Ristic brought a fantastic save out of Baba Malick as the Umm Salal keeper clawed the Macedonian striker's header out of the top corner, before Hwang struck with the interval approaching. The big centre-back beat Malick to Kim's corner and directed it into the empty net from six yards out.
Malick did well to turn Kim's chip from the edge of the box over the crossbar early in the second half, but clear-cut chances subsequently proved at a premium.
However, Pohang doubled their money in the 79th minute. Substitute Song Chang-ho delivered a vicious cross towards the near post and Kim stooped to head past a stationary Malick.