Seoul, South Korea (AP) — Ulsan Hyundai Horang-i began preparing for a second consecutive continental title by beating Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors 3-2 in the Asian Champions League quarter-finals on Sunday.
Ulsan, who also won in 2012, needed extra time to beat their South Korean rival.
Knockout ties in the tournament have been changed from the usual two-legged bouts to a single game due to the pandemic.
Georgian midfielder Valery Kazishvili put Ulsan ahead at Jeonju World Cup Stadium after 13 minutes, winning only for Han Kyo-Jonbuk, who was the champion in 2006 and 2016.
Just before the break, Yun Il-Lok restored Ulsan’s lead. It didn’t last long when Jeonbuk made a comeback, this time through Takahiro Kunimoto at the start of the second half.
After 101 minutes, South Korea international Lee Dong-gyeong hit the winner with a fierce shot from outside the field.
The next semi-final for Ulsan will take place on Wednesday against South Korean rivals Pohang Steelers.
Pohang defeated Nagoya Grampus of Japan 3-0, aiming for a record fourth Asian title.
Lim Sang-hyub opened the scoring for eight minutes in the second half and Lee Seung-mo added a second with 20 minutes to go. Lim’s second second in injury time sealed the victory.
The winner will face Saudi Arabia in the final on 23 November.
Three-time champion Al-Hilal beat Iran’s Persepolis 3-0 in Riyadh, thanks to two goals from former France international striker Bafetimbi Gomis and a long-range strike from Salem al-Dawsari.
Al-Hilal will face Riyadh’s rival Al-Nasr in the semi-finals on Tuesday. Al-Nasr defeated Al-Wahda of the United Arab Emirates 5-1 in their first game under new Portuguese coach Pedro Emanuel.
The final will take place in Riyadh.
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