Thu, 28 Oct, 2021
Kuala Lumpur: The semi-final line-up for the AFC Champions League has been confirmed, with Asian football fans to be treated to a mouthwatering all Korean clash between former champions Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors and FC Seoul, while Qatar’s El Jaish will face inaugural champions Al Ain of the UAE.
Jeonbuk will face 2013 finalists FC Seoul in in a fortnight’s time after the K League Classic sides eliminated Chinese Super League opposition, Shanghai SIPG and Shandong Luneng.
Choi Kang-hee’s Korean champions won Tuesday’s quarter-final second leg 5-0 at Jeonju World Cup Stadium to see them cruise into the penultimate stage of the continental competition after the pair had drawn three weeks earlier in Shanghai.
FC Seoul, meanwhile, edged out Shandong 4-2 on aggregate after the 1-1 draw in eastern China proved enough following the 3-1 home win in the Korean capital in the first leg.
Jeonbuk will entertain FC Seoul in Jeonju on September 28 before travelling to Seoul World Cup Stadium three weeks later for the second leg.
“That was a perfect home game,” said a delighted Choi. “We drew 0-0 away but the players were on top from the start. We were confident that we could win at home, we had prepared well and everything went well.”
“It was great to play like that in front of a big crowd and give them a good show. We are confident and going well in the K League Classic and the AFC Champions League and looking forward to each game we play and we will try and maintain this form.”
At Jinan Olympic Sports Centre on Wednesday, Shandong, who needed to reduce a two-goal deficit, were on top for much of the tie and did halve FC Seoul’s advantage on the hour-mark through Walter Montillo.
Substitute Yun Ju-tae’s goal seven minutes from time, though, proved an obstacle too big to overcome as FC Seoul secured a fourth appearance in the semi-finals.
“I am very happy that we have qualified for the semi-finals,” said FC Seoul coach Hwang Sun-hong, who as a player enjoyed continental glory at the 1997-1998 Asian Club Championship with Pohang Steelers.
“Our players were fantastic. And thanks also go to our good preparation and the support from those fans who travelled here from Korea. It is a very special match for us.”