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Leagues: Asian Champions League

South Korea’s Jeonbuk Motors rev into Champions League semis


Saitama (Japan) (AFP) – Jeonbuk Motors roared back to score twice in extra time and reach the Asian Champions League semi-finals with a 3-1 win over Vissel Kobe on Monday.

Brazilian substitute Gustavo headed home in the 104th minute to put the South Koreans ahead and Moon Seon-min put gloss on the scoreline at the death as Kobe searched for an equaliser.

In the other quarter-final in the eastern zone of the AFC’s top club competition, former champions Urawa Reds of Japan will be favourites against Thailand’s BG Pathum United later Monday.

Kobe were missing Spanish legend Andres Iniesta and made seven changes to the side that stunned fellow Japanese outfit Yokohama F Marinos last week in the last 16.

But the J-League strugglers were the better side against Jeonbuk of the K League in the first half in front of a smattering of fans on neutral territory in Saitama, near Tokyo.

Kobe took the lead in the 64th minute when substitute midfielder Koya Yuruki turned the ball in from close range when Jeonbuk goalkeeper Lee Bum-soo fumbled. Yuruki had only been on the pitch for two minutes.

Kobe’s lead lasted just two minutes. Jeonbuk’s Gambian forward Mo Barrow raced up the other end and slotted the ball between the legs of advancing goalkeeper Daiya Maekawa after the Kobe defence went AWOL.

The Korean side, continental champions in 2006 and 2016, were now making the more clear-cut chances with former Leeds and Swansea man Barrow a constant threat for Jeonbuk.

It was Barrow who provided the cross in the 104th minute for striker Gustavo to climb highest at the back post and ram in to make it 2-1, before Moon made sure of the win in the 122nd minute.

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