Urawa Red Diamonds a club from Japan Qualified for the finals as the first team after defeating the Jeonbuk Hyundai team a club from Korea Republic. Went in the penalty shootout with a score of 3-1 after a draw in 120 minutes 2-2 in the AFC Champions League 2022 semi-final. At Saitama Stadium, Saitama.
Kim Sang-sik made four changes to the line-up that needed extra-time to defeat Japan’s Vissel Kobe in the quarter-finals, with Kim Bo-kyung, Yun Young-sun and Han Kyo-wan on the bench alongside Modou Barrow, who scored the opener against the J1 League side, also missing out.
That meant Gustavo, scorer of the crucial second against Kobe, started with Ku Jar-Yong, Ryu Jae-moon and Kim Jin-gyu also called up. In contrast, Urawa were unchanged from the side that eliminated Thailand’s BG Pathum United.
It was Ricardo Rodriguez’s side who opened the scoring with the simplest of finishes for Matsuo, with the goal coming as a result of David Moberg Karlsson’s creativity and Sakai’s energy.
The Swedish playmaker’s cleverly dinked pass split a pair of Jeonbuk defenders and was met by Sakai as he drove into the Jeonbuk penalty area, with the Japan international providing the perfect pass for Matsuo to side-foot the ball over the line from close range.
Jeonbuk sought an immediate response but, despite long range attempts from Kim Jin-gyu and Maeng Seong-ung, it took until the 37th minute for the K League side to seriously threaten Shusaku Nishikawa’s goal.
That came when Barrow, introduced from the bench four minutes earlier for Kim Jin-gyu, caused panic with his pace.
The Gambian left Sakai trailing and Takuya Iwanami uncertain on his way to the by-line before cutting the ball back towards the edge of the area, from where Song Min-kyu wastefully fired into the home fans.
Matsuo threatened again at the other end with a shot into the side netting while, with five minutes left in the half, Park Jin-seop missed the target from a tight angle.
Ten minutes into the second half, however, Jeonbuk equalised. Referee Alireza Faghani pointed to the spot when he judged Ayumu Ohata had brought down Song Min-kyu in the area and, after the Iranian confirmed the decision using VAR, Paik Seung-ho slipped his penalty under Nishikawa’s dive.
Karlsson was denied the opportunity to put Urawa back in front four minutes later when Lee Bum-soo touched his shot wide while Jeonbuk’s Park Jin-seop almost screwed the ball into his own net with a quarter of the game remaining.
Substitute Kasper Junker was off target and Karlsson hurried his opportunity to win the game for Urawa in the final minute when he sent his attempt from 15 yards high over the bar.
Ataru Esaka then drove his shot high and Junker was denied by Lee, with the goalkeeper also frustrating Esaka with a close range block in a frantic finish to normal time that also saw Junker hit the post as Jeonbuk clung desperately on.
Han then looked to have won the game for Jeonbuk with only four minutes remaining of extra-time as he slid in to steer home Lee’s Seung-gi’s cross only for Junker to net the equaliser.
Nishikawa then denied Bo-kyung and Seung-gi with Ataru hitting the winning penalty as the Saitama Stadium roared with joy.
Credit Photo : AFC