Ulsan book place in Asian CL final
ULSAN, South Korea - Agence France-Presse
Lee Keun-ho of South Korea’s Ulsan celebrates a goal. Ulsan reached its first ever AFC Champions League final. REUTERS PhotoSouth Korea’s Ulsan Hyundai reached its first ever AFC Champions League final yesterday after they weathered an early onslaught to beat Bunyodkor 2-0 for a 5-1 aggregate win.
Kim Shin-Wook put the hosts ahead in the 53rd minute before Lee Kuen-Ho sealed the win with a fine effort 16 minutes from time, confirming Ulsan as the fourth South Korean finalists in four years.
Kim Ho-Gon’s side will host the final on Nov. 10 against the winner of the other semifinal between Saudi Arabian duo Al Ittihad and Al Ahli, which Al Ittihad leads 1-0 following the first leg in Jeddah last week.
Ulsan had secured a 3-1 advantage over Bunyodkor in the first leg in Tashkent a week ago, and it proved an insurmountable task for the Uzbek champions at Ulsan Stadium.
Bunyodkor, needing to score three times to have any chance of reaching the final for the first time in their short history, pushed for an early goal, but goalkeeper Kim Young-Kwang kept them at bay.
Kim was on hand to twice deny Shavkat Salomov in the opening 18 minutes as Mirdjalal Kasimov’s side sought the strike that would give them a fighting chance.
But while Kim played a key role, Ulsan looked the more likely to score as the half wore on, with Kwak Tae-Hwi and Juan Estiven Velez both going close to scoring the goal that would have killed the game.
Eight minutes into the second half, Kim gave his side the lead when he struck from close range with a right foot shot that left Bunyodkor goalkeeper Ignatiy Nesterov with little chance.
And in the 74th minute, Lee put the result beyond any doubt with a sumptuous right-footed shot from just inside the area, which arrowed home well out of Nesterov’s reach.