Saturday, November 18, 2017

Al Ain 1 Jeonbuk Motors 1 (2-3 agg): Missed Douglas penalty decides final

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 26 Nov 2016

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Jeonbuk Motors won the AFC Champions League for a second time on Saturday, overcoming Al Ain 3-2 on aggregate after a 1-1 draw in the second leg of the final.

Han Kyo-won put the South Korean visitors in front on the half-hour mark at Hazza Bin Zayed Stadium, Lee Myung-joo levelling for the home team just minutes later.

Douglas then missed a penalty that would have levelled the aggregate scores and, during a tense second half, Al Ain proved unable to force the goal they needed to take the game to extra-time, leaving Jeonbuk to lift the continental crown again, 10 years on from their first success in this format of the competition. 

Jeonbuk opened the scoring, largely against the run of play, when Han, on as an early substitute for the injured Ricardo Lopes, thundered home Lee Jae-sung’s corner with a fierce close-range strike in the 30th minute.

That looked to have given the visitors a potentially decisive advantage, but Al Ain responded just four minutes later, Lee taking advantage of some slack marking by his countrymen to find the far corner of the net from Caio’s delivery.

Al Ain wasted a golden opportunity to wrest back control of the tie with two minutes to go in the first half, Douglas firing a penalty over the bar after Kim Hyung-il felled Danilo Moreno inside the area.

The home team’s coach Zlatko Dalic was sent to the stands by referee Ryuji Sato in first-half injury time after an altercation on the sidelines sparked by Mohamed Fayez’s late sliding tackle on Han.

A cagey second 45 minutes produced little in the way of goal-mouth action, as Al Ain’s much-vaunted attacking line-up, including star United Arab Emirates playmaker Omar Abdulrahman, struggled to breakdown the organised K-League powerhouse.

Captain Kwoun Sun-Tae was a significant presence, though, producing important saves to deny Douglas and Ibrahim Diaky late on, as Jeonbuk finally made up for the disappointment of their defeat in the 2011 decider.

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