AFC Champions League: Seongnam are Asian champions (+video)
South Korean representatives Seongnam Ilhwa Chunma have won the 2010 AFC Champions League after a pulsating final match played in Tokyo. They defeated Iranian side Zob Ahan by three goals to one to lift the title and are the second consecutive team from the K-League to become Asian club champions following the success of Pohang Steelers in 2009.
The Korean side took the lead after 29 minutes in front of a capacity crowd at the National Stadium, Tokyo, when Sasa Ognenovski put his side in front. The scoreline remained 1-0 at the break and set up a frantic second half in which both teams set out to attack their opponents. It took seven minutes after the re-start for Seongnam to double their lead when Cho Byung-Kuk was on hand to make it 2-0. The Iranians did all they could to get back in to the match and succeeded in doing so in the 66th minute when Mohammadreza Khalatbari halved the deficit with a well taken strike and the match came to a grandstand finish. The Koreans sealed the deal with eight minutes remaining when Kim Cheol-Ho put the visitors beyond arm’s length and restored the two goal cushion which they never relinquished.
Seongnam Ilhwa Chunma’s reward for winning this year’s AFC Champions League trophy is a place in the oncoming FIFA Club World Cup in the United Arab Emirates next month. They will play a quarter-final tie against the winners of the qualifying match between host side Al-Wahda and Oceania champions Hekari United.
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