Jeonbuk clinch ticket to Japan
Jeonbuk Motors clinched their second AFC Champions League title – and booked a return to the FIFA Club World Cup. The Korea Republic side rode their luck to secure a 1-1 draw against Al Ain in the second leg of the final, winning 3-2 on aggregate.
Han Gyowon opened the scoring for the 2006 champions – getting the crucial away goal to cancel out the Abu Dhabi side’s edge – before the hosts drew level on the night though Lee Myungjoo’s volley. Douglas’s missed penalty denied Al Ain the chance to square things up on aggregate and Choi Kanghee’s side held out.
The visitors were overwhelmed by a purple wave in the opening stages of the game, with Caio going close before Omar Abdulrahman saw his header turned round the post by Kwoun Suntae. There was no real hint at them going behind until Han – on as a substitute after five minutes thanks to Ricardo Lopes Pereira’s injury – broke free to lash home from a corner.
This only saw Al Ain redouble their efforts, which paid off four minutes later, as Lee was left all alone to convert Caio’s cross with a bouncing volley. They should have led at the break after Danilo Asprilla was hauled down, having pounced on a mistake by Kim Hyungil, but Douglas hammered his spot-kick over the bar.
After the break, Al Ain pushed to take the game to extra-time. Mohanad Salem went close, while Kwoun was forced into a couple fine of saves to ensure the title was returning on the plane to east Asia. First, he prevented Douglas making amends, before a stunning reflex stop denied Ibrahim Diaky.
Jeonbuk will kick off their Club World Cup campaign in Japan against Club America on 11 December in Osaka.