Korea Republic’s Jeonbuk Motors and the First Ever Qatari Finalist Al Sadd will Contest the Asian Title on Saturday, 5 November in Jeonju, Korea
Jeonbuk Motors 2-1 Al Ittihad (5-3 agg.)
Jeonju: Two goals from Eninho saw Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors reach the Final of the 2011 AFC Champions League with a 2-1 win over Al Ittihad at Jeonju World Cup Stadium in front of 17,069 fans.
Leading 3-2 from the first leg in Saudi Arabia last week, Eninho built on Jeonbuk’s advantage when he slotted home midway through the first half after Al Ittihad striker Naif Hazazi had been sent off early in the game.
The Brazilian then doubled the hosts’ lead with a brilliant goal direct from a corner before compatriot Wendel pulled one back for Al Ittihad during the last 20 minutes of the game.
Jeonbuk substituted Krunoslav Lovrek then collected a second yellow card in the closing stages but the Koreans managed to close out a 5-3 aggregate triumph.
Jeonbuk Motors coach Choi Kang-hee felt his side’s performance in the first leg of the Semi Final against Al Ittihad ultimately secured their place in the Final, the Koreans going into the game with a 3-2 advantage from last week’s game in Jeddah and two goals from Eninho putting Jeonbuk firmly in control.
“We got what we wanted,” said Choi, who led Jeonbuk to the continental crown five years ago. “We are at home for the Final and that is an advantage for us. The lead we took from the first leg gave us some breathing space at home but we knew well that Al Ittihad is a very good team.”
Al Sadd 0-1 Suwon Bluewings (2-1 agg.)
Doha: Al Sadd will face Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors in the Final of the 2011 AFC Champions League after they overcame Suwon Samsung Bluewings 2-1 on aggregate despite a 1-0 defeat at Sheik Jassim Bin Hamad Stadium.
Trailing 2-0 from a stormy semi-final first leg in Korea, Suwon hauled themselves back into the tie with just six minutes gone thanks to Oh Jang-eun’s excellent strike. But they were unable to capitalise on their fantastic start with Al Sadd content to nullify any Suwon threat in a game of few chances.
Khalfan Ibrahim hit the bar for Al Sadd 12 minutes before the interval and Mato Neretljak missed a great chance for Suwon to level the aggregate score in the second period but the home side defended their advantage to become the first side from Qatar to reach the AFC Champions League Final.
Al Sadd coach Jorge Fossati praised a gutsy performance from his side as they overcame the shock of conceding an early goal against Suwon Samsung Bluewings to reach the Final.
“Of course we are very, very happy. To overcome them was difficult. There were many problems and yet we won and that’s why I am happy,” said Fossati, who was without suspended strikers Abdulkader Keita and Mamadou Niang.
“From my point of view, in the 90 minutes, we were threatening through counter-attacks. We could not play the game as we would have liked to but sometimes you must play as you need to. My players did it, my congratulations to them. We played well individually and we showed that we played well as a team.”
The 2011 AFC Champions League Final will take place in Jeonju World Cup Stadium, Jeonju, Korea, on Saturday, 5 November. The game will kick off at 19.00 local time.
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