AFC Champions League holders Seongnam Ilhwa Chunma booked their place in the 2012 edition of the continental competition with a 1-0 victory over Suwon Bluewings in the Korean FA Cup final. Striker Cho Dong-Keun scored the all-important goal to end what has been a disappointing season for Seongnam on a positive note. Suwon, meanwhile, turn their focus to the first leg of their Asian Champions League semi-final against Al Sadd at home on Tuesday.
In wet conditions at Tancheon Stadium, the game appeared to be heading for extra time but the deadlock was broken with 14 minutes remaining. Hong Chul's corner was delivered towards the near post and Cho was on hand to head the ball past goalkeeper Jung Song-Ryeong and clinch Seongnam's first FA Cup triumph since 1999.
"It is a great feeling to win the FA Cup, especially after the final two years ago," said Seongnam coach Shin Tae-yong, referring his side's penalty shoot-out defeat to Suwon in 2009. Of course we are happy to be back in the AFC Champions League after winning it last year."
Suwon boss Yoon Sung-hyo at least has the consolation of potential Asian glory to focus on. "We are down because we think that the FA Cup is very important," said Yoon. "Congratulations to Seongnam for their win and thanks to our fans who came to give us lots of support. If our luck had been different we could have won but now we will focus on the AFC Champions League and the semi-final next week."