Ulsan Hyundai come from behind to beat Vissel Kobe to seal berth in AFC Champions League final
Doha: Ulsan Hyundai FC advanced to next Saturday’s 2020 AFC Champions League final with a 2-1 win over Vissel Kobe after extra time in an epic semi-final at Jassim Bin Hamad Stadium on Sunday.
A 119th-minute penalty kick from Ulsan’s Júnior Negrão finally settled the tie, which had seen Vissel go ahead through Hotaru Yamaguchi just after half-time, only for Bjørn Johnsen to snatch a late equaliser with the help of the Video Assistant Referee.
Kim Do-hoon’s side will now face Islamic Republic of Iran’s Persepolis FC, while Vissel’s superb maiden appearance in the competition ends one step short of the finale.
AFC Champions League (EAST) Toyota Player of the Week: Daiya Maekawa
Doha: Daiya Maekawa has been voted by the fans as the 2020 AFC Champions League (East) Toyota Player of the Week after the Vissel Kobe 'keeper was on fine form in his side's 2-1 semi-final defeat to Ulsan Hyundai as they narrowly missed out on a place in the final.
The 26-year-old custodian, who made an impressive six saves, gained 55 percent of the fans' votes while he was also rated as number one by Stats Perform – the AFC's official data provider – with a score of 7.3.
Ulsan Hyundai’s Kim hails Johnsen impact in AFC Champions League semi-final win over Vissel Kobe
Doha: Ulsan Hyundai head coach Kim Do-hoon singled out the impact of substitute Bjørn Johnsen after the Korean side prevailed 2-1 after extra-time in a thrilling 2020 AFC Champions League semi-final win over Vissel Kobe on Sunday.
The Norwegian international was introduced immediately after Ulsan fell behind to a Hotaru Yamaguhci strike, making a significant impact when he deflected in their 81st-minute equaliser, before strike partner Júnior Negrão earned and converted the match-winning penalty in the dying minutes of extra-time.
Ultimately awarded by VAR after initially being ruled out for offside, Johnsen’s goal was his fifth of the tournament, with all five coming in matches where he has appeared as a substitute, giving him an average of just under one goal for every 90 minutes of game time across his eight appearances.
Kim's Ulsan Hyundai enjoying the moment, Miura proud of Vissel Kobe making AFC Champions League history
Doha: Ulsan Hyundai FC head coach Kim Do-hoon credited the positive atmosphere within the squad for his side’s 2-1 extra time victory over Vissel Kobe in the 2020 AFC Champions League semi-final on Sunday.
Ulsan Hyundai were made to wait 120 minutes to get their winner from the very last kick of the ball at Jassim bin Hamad Stadium.
After a goalless first half, Hotaru Yamaguchi’s goal from a well-worked Vissel Kobe corner kick was cancelled out by Bjorn Johnsen’s strike nine minutes from time, taking the tie into extra time. A penalty in the last minute allowed Junior Negrao to slot home his fifth of the campaign and send the Koreans into the final.
East Asia and ASEAN Wrap: Nagoya and Cerezo drop points in race for top-two finish
Kuala Lumpur: Nagoya Grampus and Cerezo Osaka played out goalless draws in their respective games in Japan on Saturday to leave Gamba Osaka in pole position to finish second and claim a place in the 2021 AFC Champions League group stage.
In China PR, Jiangsu FC will face Shandong Luneng in the FA Cup final after overcoming Tianjin Teda and Wuhan Zall in the semi-finals while the top two continued their winning runs in Thailand.
Meanwhile a 2020 champion was crowned in Macau, so join the-AFC.com as we review the action from across East Asia and ASEAN.