TOKYO, Nov 13 (Reuters) - Seongnam Ilhwa manager Shin
Tae-yong called himself a "special one" after the South Koreans
beat Iran's Zobahan 3-1 to win the Asian Champions League final
The result gave South Korea back-to-back titles, after
K-League rivals Pohang Steelers won the competition last year,
and booked Seongnam's place in December's Club World Cup.
An ebullient Shin promptly indulged in a Jose Mourinho-like
boast after the game in Tokyo.
"I'm double-happy to be Asian champions as a coach after
winning it as a player," said a beaming Shin who played for the
The 40-year-old told reporters he was still haunted by
Seongnam's previous appearance in the AFC Champions League final
He watched both legs from the bench as Ilhwa beat Saudi
Arabia's Al Ittihad 3-1 away before suffering a stunning 5-0
home humiliation which cost the club the title.
"I've tried not to let those bad memories linger," said
Shin. "It's like mind control, trying to banish those ghosts but
we did it so I can say I am a 'special one' too now."
Seongnam took the lead in the 29th minute when Australian
captain Sasa Ognenovski bundled the ball into the net following
a goal-line scramble.
A free kick from Seongnam's Colombian striker Uribe Molina
near the corner flag almost crept in before Zobahan forward
Mohammad Ghazi forced a smart save from South Korea's World Cup
goalkeeper Jung Sung-ryong just before halftime.
Seongnam, last Asian champions in 1995, made it 2-0 seven
minutes into the second half when defender Cho Byung-kuk headed
in from close range.
Striker Mohammadreza Khalatbari pulled a goal back for
Zobahan in the 67th minute but Kim Cheol-ho stabbed in a third
for Seongnam eight minutes from time to seal victory.
"We made too many mistakes," said Zobahan coach Mansour
Ebrahimzadeh. "We gave away two silly goals. The players were in
tears but life goes on and they have to learn from it.
"Nobody gave Zobahan a hope in this competition but we've
finished as runners-up and made people notice us. At least
people know our name now."
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