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AFC Champions League wrap: Ulsan to meet Al Ahli in final

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 31 Oct 2012

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South Korean side Ulsan Hyundai will entertain Saudi Arabian team Al Ahli in the final of the AFC Champions League.

Ulsan advanced to the decider after accounting for Uzbekistani outfit Bunyodkor 5-1 on aggregate.

Kim Ho-Gon’s men, who won 3-1 in Tashkent last week, secured their berth with a 2-0 victory in the second leg at Ulsan Munsu Football Stadium.

Second-half goals from Kim Shin-Wook and Lee Keun-Ho sealed the result, with Ulsan becoming the fourth K-League club in a row to reach the final.

“I stressed before the game that even though we had won the away match, the players should not be careless and the players had the determination to qualify for the final,” Kim Ho-Gon said.

“We expected Bunyodkor would play offensively and we tried to counter that with more offensive tactics.”

Al Ahli won their semi-final against Al Ittihad 2-1 on aggregate to qualify for the final against which will be hosted by Ulsan on November 10.

In an all-Saudi Arabia clash, Al Ahli entered Wednesday’s game trailing by a goal on aggregate after Al Ittihad won 1-0 at home on October 23.

But Al Ahli dominated their home leg with Brazilian striker Victor Simoes creating their first serious chance, smashing a shot against the joint of the post and crossbar after a fine turn on the edge of the penalty area.

The home team, who sit eighth in the Saudi Arabia Pro League, compared to Al Ittihad’s fourth spot, continued to have the best goal-scoring opportunities but did not hit the front until the 43rd minute when Motaz Al Musa got on the end of a corner to head the ball into the net from close range.

It was a similar story in the second half with Al Ittihad trying to hold on and Al Ahli failing to convert their chances but eventually the home side triumphed when Simoes got on the end of a long pass out of defence and slotted his left-foot shot into the bottom corner in the 83rd minute.

The winner of the AFC Champions League final will take part in the FIFA Club World Cup in Japan in December with the likes of Chelsea, Corinthians, Monterrey and Auckland City.

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