Jeonbuk Motors fought back to claim an
impressive 3-2 away win over Saudi Arabia's Al-Ittihad in an
entertaining Asian Champions League semi-final first leg on
Wednesday full of attacking intent.
The 2006 winners bounced back from a 2-1 half-time deficit
and the loss of their leading striker to end Al-Ittihad's
unbeaten home run in the tournament this season ahead of the
second leg in South Korea on Wednesday.
Earlier, Al Sadd claimed a precious 2-0 away win over South
Korea's Suwon Bluewings in the first leg of their semi-final
which was marred by an ugly brawl between the teams which
delayed the match for 10 minutes as three players were sent off.
In Jeddah, K-League leaders Jeonbuk had said they would come
and attack the twice winners and they wasted little time in
claiming a vital away goal after just two minutes through
Brazilian playmaker Eninho.
His low, inswinging right-footed corner found the back of
the net via a deflection from Al-Ittihad goalkeeper Mabrouk Zaid
to leave the passionate crowd at the Prince Abdullah Al Faisal
The home fans were back in full voice shortly after,
however, with striker Naif Hazazi rising highest to head a
brilliant equaliser from 12 yards in the sixth minute after a
cross from Sultan Al-Numare.
The lively Hazazi claimed his second in the 18th minute when
Jeonbuk defender Cho Sung-hwan dithered under a high ball and
the striker chested down and rifled a left foot drive home from
the edge of the area.
Jeonbuk were then dealt a big blow when the tournament's
leading goal-scorer Lee Dong-gook was forced off injured in the
34th minute after a heavy challenge from behind by Mishal
The tackles were flying in from both sides with Jeonbuk's
Son Seung-joon and Al-Ittihad's Osama Al-Harbi booked for
reckless challenges as the whistle of Bahrani referee Nawaf
Shukralla began to dominate the niggly encounter.
Jeonbuk started the second half brightly and they claimed a
deserved equaliser in the 57th minute as they took control of
Midfielder Son was allowed time to smash an unstoppable
drive into the roof of the net from seven metres after the home
side failed to clear a corner.
The impressive Koreans pressed for the winner as the game
opened up into an end-to-end attack-fest and Cho redeemed his
earlier mistake with a strong header for the winning goal in the
The defender rose to head in an outswinging corner from
Eninho although once again Zaid was at fault.
The home side lost their discipline as they grew more and
more frustrated and substitute Kim Dong-chan wasted a good
chance to increase the margin late on.
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