Asian Champions League: Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors in cruise control after 4-1 win over FC Seoul

Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors were on the cusp of returning to the Asian Champions League final – 10 years after their first – after beating FC Seoul 4-1 at Jeonju World Cup Stadium on Wednesday.
South Korea's Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors players celebrate a goal of midfielder Leonardo against South Korea's FC Seoul during their semi-final first leg of the Asian Champions League in Jeonju on September 28, 2016. AFP
South Korea's Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors players celebrate a goal of midfielder Leonardo against South Korea's FC Seoul during their semi-final first leg of the Asian Champions League in Jeonju on September 28, 2016. AFP

Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors were on the cusp of returning to the Asian Champions League final – 10 years after their first – after beating FC Seoul 4-1 at Jeonju World Cup Stadium on Wednesday.

Two strikes from Leonardo and one from Ricardo Lopes put Jeonbuk, the champions in 2006, up 3-0 by half time in the first leg of the all-South Korean clash. Ju Se-jong pulled one back for Seoul, before Kim Shin-wook scored Jeonbuk’s fourth late on.

The second leg is at Seoul World Cup Stadium on October 19.

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Choi Kang-hee, who managed Jeonbuk to the title in 2006, was satisfied with the result and the prospect of returning to the final for the first time since losing to Al Sadd of Qatar in 2011.

“We know that we are in a good position heading into the second leg” Choi said. “Seoul need the win and will know what they have to do but we know what we have to do also.”

Seoul have never won the Asian title, and manager Hwang Sun-hong conceded that reaching the final for the second time in three years will be tough.

“We are disappointed with the result,” Hwang said. “But the tie is not yet over.”

The winner will take on Al Ain or El Jaish of Qatar. The UAE club are favourites with a 3-1 advantage from Tuesday’s first leg.

Brazilian Douglas and UAE international Omar Abdulrahman scored within five first-half minutes to put Al Ain in front before Sardor Rashidov struck from the spot in the second half to give El Jaish hope of a comeback.

However, Caio’s injury-time strike ensured that Al Ain go into the second leg on October 18 in Doha with a comfortable two-goal cushion as they target their second continental title after winning the inaugural tournament in 2003.

RESULTS:

Tuesday, first leg

• Al Ain 3 El Jaish 1

Wednesday, first leg

• Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors 4 FC Seoul 1

Return legs are October 18 and 19.

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Published: September 28, 2016 04:00 AM

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