JEONJU, SOUTH KOREA // The Qatari team, Al Sadd, became the first Gulf side in six seasons to win the Asian Champions League after a 4-2 penalty shoot-out victory over South Korea's Jeonbuk Motors at Jeonju World Cup Stadium last night.
Mohammed Saqr, the goalkeeper, saved two penalties in the shoot-out to leave Nadir Belhadji to score the winning spot-kick after the game had finished 2-2.
While Al Sadd won the tournament in its former guise in 1989, it is the first win for a Qatari team since the Champions League started in 2003, and the first for any West Asian side since Saudi Arabia's Al Ittihad beat UAE side Al Ain over two legs in 2005.
It ends five consecutive triumphs for South Korea or Japan.
"I think I am not in the best condition to analyse the game," said Jorge Fossati, Al Sadd's Uruguayan coach. "At this moment, my feeling is stronger than my reason. From my point of view, the two teams should be congratulated as big champions."
Jeonbuk, winners in 2006, played in their home stadium before 41,805 fans. They had numerous opportunities, but hit the woodwork three times and also found Saqr in excellent form.
"Saqr was fantastic but that was not the only game in this competition in which he was fantastic," Fossati said. "Jeonbuk players did not miss the penalties, he saved them. In the game also, he made two or three very important saves. One in the last minute was extraordinary."
* Associated Press