South Korean giants Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors won the Asian Football Confederation Champions League title on Saturday.
Jeonbuk played to a 1-1 draw against Al Ain FC in the second leg of the AFC Champions League final at Hazza Bin Zayed Stadium in Al Ain, the United Arab Emirates. The result was enough for the K League Classic club to claim the continental title with an aggregate score of 3-2.
Jeonbuk had a 2-1 win over Al Ain in the first leg at Jeonju World Cup Stadium in Jeonju, some 240 kilometers south of Seoul, last week.
This is Jeonbuk's second AFC Champions League title, following their first one in 2006.
Jeonbuk played almost the same lineup that faced Al Ain last Saturday, with only the veteran Lee Dong-gook,the all-time ACL leading scorer, in for towering striker Kim Shin-wook.
Al Ain fielded their top scorer Dyanfres Douglas, who only featured as a second-half substitute in the first leg, and played the AFC Player of the Year award candidate Omar Abdulrahman behind him.
This year's last ACL match took an unexpected twist just three minutes in, as Jeonbuk winger Ricardo Lopes was forced off with an injury after colliding with Mohammed Fayez. Han Kyo-won came on for the Brazilian.
Al Ain, looking for their first ACL title since 2003, tested Jeonbuk goalkeeper Kwoun Sun-tae in the 11th minute with Omar's header off a Danilo Asprilla's cross.
Douglas then went into action with a left-footed strike in the 24th and a bicycle kick in the 28th, but couldn't find the back of the net.
Jeonbuk stunned the hosts by taking a 1-0 lead in the 30th with a volley from Han off a corner kick. Two minutes after earning their precious away goal, the four-time K League champions tried to double the lead, this time with Lee Dong-gook's strike.
Al Ain, however, leveled the score quickly when their South Korean midfielder Lee Myung-joo's right-footed strike off a Caio Lucas Fernandes' cross beat Kwoun.
Jeonbuk found themselves in more trouble in the 41st, when Kim Hyung-il brought down Asprilla in the box and gave up a penalty. Douglas, however, sent his spot kick over the net.
In the first half stoppage time, Al Ain head coach Zlatko Dalic and Jeonbuk assistant coach Park Choong-kyun were both ejected following a touchline scuffle, but the hosts kept knocking on Jeonbuk's door in the second half without their boss.
Mohanad Salem's header off a corner kick in the 52nd missed the target, while Caio's effort in the 58th also couldn't help the Emirati side.
Jeonbuk replaced Lee Dong-gook with Kim Shin-wook in the 61st to reinforce their attack. Four yellow cards were shown in an eight-minute span as the match heated up with shots flying on both sides.
Al Ain's Ibrahim Diaky, who came on for Douglas, almost became a hero for the hosts in the 81st, but his effort was denied by Kwoun in the box.
Al Ain were given five minutes of stoppage time and one goal would have forced the champions to be determined in extra time.
However, Jeonbuk survived in Al Ain's onslaught and secured the coveted ACL title, as well as their ticket to the FIFA Club World Cup. Jeonbuk will come back home with $3 million prize money. (Yonhap)