Shin Tae-wong speechless after win
© AFP

Coach Shin Tae-wong was at a loss for words after seeing Seongnam Ilhwa Chunma defeat Iran's Zob Ahan 3-1 at Tokyo's National Stadium to claim the Asian Champions League title.

Skipper Sasa Ognenovski opened the scoring in the first half before Cho Byong-kuk added a second soon after the restart. Mohammadreza Khalatbari pulled a goal back and Zob Ahan battled hard to find an equaliser but it was not to be as Kim Cheol-ho grabbed a third for Seongnam eight minutes from time.

The victory for Shin means he has now won Asia's premier club tournament as both a player and a coach after being part of the side that first won the title back in 1995.

We will play in the Club World Cup and we want to show people that Asian football is at a high level.
Shin Tae-wong, Seongnam Ilhwa Chunma coach

"I am almost speechless and very happy," said Shin. "I have won as a player before and now as a head coach, but I am happier tonight.

"As a player I had belief that we could become champions but since I became a head coach I did not think that I would ever have this opportunity to participate in a major tournament like this.

"To become a champion as a coach, it is twice as good as when I won as a player so I am very happy."

The win means Seongnam will play in the FIFA Club World Cup next month, potentially coming up against Italian giants Inter.

"We will play in the Club World Cup and we want to show people that Asian football is at a high level," added Shin. "In Asia the quality of football is improving and increasing and I am sure it will get even better."

For Ognenovski, the win capped a fine couple of weeks for the defender following his call-up to the Australia squad for the first time for next week's international friendly with Egypt. The 31-year-old joined Seongnam back in January 2009 and has developed into an integral player for the club.

"During the first half of last year he (Ognenovski) had difficulty adjusting to Korean football but this year he has played very well. He is used to living here and he plays a very important role for my team," said Shin. "Whatever I ask of Sasa he will do 100%. I think he is the best stopper in the K-League."