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Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors, Al Ain to duel for AFC Champions League Glory

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - MAY 17: Jeonbuk players pose for photos during the AFC Champions League match between the Melbourne Victory and Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors at AAMI Park on May 17, 2016 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Robert Prezioso/Getty Images)

Choi Kang-hee’s Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors, who are fending off a fierce late challenge from FC Seoul, will be taking part in the 2016 AFC Champions League Final after disposing of Hwang Sun-hong’s rivals 5-3 on aggregate after a 2-1 loss to Seoul at the Seoul World Cup Stadium. Adriano (38′) and Ko Kwang-min (90′ + 2′) scored for Seoul, while Ricardo Lopes scored in the 59th minute for Jeonbuk, whose form has been dropping domestically despite retaining the lead in the K-League Classic.

Zlatko Dalic’s Al Ain FC will also be taking part in the final, scheduled for Nov. 19 (first leg) and Nov. 26 (second leg), after a 2-2 draw with Sabri Lamouchi’s El Jaish at the Abdullah bin Khalifa Stadium in Doha. Romarinho scored a brace for El Jaish in the 67th and 81st minutes, while the Abdulrahman brothers scores for Al-Ain, Omar (57′) and Mohamed (90′ + 3′).

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“We played a great match tonight and were able to fight and compete with El Jaish,” said Dalic.  “We ended the first half scoreless and this helped us go into the second period with a lot of confidence and determination. Our opening goal then increased our enthusiasm and determination and put more pressure on El Jaish. The match was then very exciting in the final 30 minutes when the two sides went forward and created scoring chances.”

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“We still feel the pain of five years ago,” said Choi of the club’s past setback to Al Sadd of Qatar in 2011. “These are painful memories and we are delighted to have the chance to play in another final”. “The final of this kind of competition is a big game and failing to win is hard. You can try to forget about it but it stays in your mind for a long time.

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“It was a big win for us and that opened the pathway to the final for us. Of course, we had to keep our concentration in the second leg and that is what we did. It was a very tough semi final for us and we know that there is still work to do but this is where we want to be.”

The Stoppage Time is predicting that Jeonbuk will win the first leg at the Jeonju World Cup Stadium by a score of 4-2. The second leg at the Hazza Bin Zayed Stadium will see the match end in a 2-2 draw to give Jeonbuk a taste of redemption and a ticket to the FIFA Club World Cup in the form of a 6-4 aggregate win.

Keep it right here on The Stoppage Time, powered by Azteca Soccer, for more world football news. Stay connected on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.

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