Ulsan tops Jeonbuk, advances to Asian Champions League semis

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — Ulsan Hyundai Horang-i defeated Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors 3-2 in an Asian Champions League quarterfinal on Sunday to stay on course for a second successive continental title.

Ulsan, which also won in 2012, needed extra-time to beat its South Korean rival.

Knockout ties in the tournament have been reduced to a single game from the usual two-legged encounters due to the pandemic.

Georgian midfielder Valeri Qazaishvili put Ulsan ahead after 13 minutes at Jeonju World Cup Stadium, only for Han Kyo-won to level for Jeonbuk, champions in 2006 and 2016.

Just before the break, Yun Il-lok restored Ulsan’s lead. It didn’t last long with Jeonbuk hitting back, this time through Takahiro Kunimoto early in the second half.

After 101 minutes, South Korea international Lee Dong-gyeong hit the winner with a fierce shot from outside the area.

Next up for Ulsan is a semifinal on Wednesday against Pohang Steelers, another South Korean opponent.

Pohang, aiming for a record fourth Asian title, defeated Nagoya Grampus of Japan 3-0.

Lim Sang-hyub opened the scoring eight minutes into the second half and with 20 minutes remaining, Lee Seung-mo added a second. Lim’s second in injury time sealed the victory.

The winner will face a team from Saudi Arabia in the final on Nov. 23.

Three-time champion Al-Hilal defeated Persepolis of Iran 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 rival Al-Nassr in Tuesday’s semifinal. Al-Nassr, in its first game under new Portuguese coach Pedro Emanuel, thrashed Al-Wahda of the United Arab Emirates 5-1.

The final will take place in Riyadh.

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