Yokohama reaches Asian Champions League final by beating Ulsan in penalty shootout 5-4

YOKOHAMA, Japan (AP) — Yokohama F. Marinos advanced to the Asian Champions League final for the first time on Wednesday after a 5-4 penalty shootout win over against Ulsan HD of South Korea in a dramatic semifinal that ended 3-3 on aggregate.

The Japanese team’s 3-2 home win erased a 1-0 deficit from last week’s first leg and forced extra time and then penalties.

The five-time J League champion, coached by former Leeds and Liverpool winger Harry Kewell, will face Al-Ain of the United Arab Emirates in May’s final.

Yokohama raced into a 3-0 lead in front of its home crowd on a rainy evening at Yokohama International Stadium.

Asahi Uenaka reacted quickly to shoot home from close range in the 13th minute to level the aggregate scoreline. Anderson Lopes made it 2-0 eight minutes later and Uenaka curled home his second goal in the 60th minute to put Yokohama 3-1 up on aggregate.

Ulsan, continental champion in 2012 and 2020, got back in the game within five minutes when Matheus Sales headed home a corner. Soon after, Yokomaha defender Takumi Kamijima handled in the area to receive a red card and Ulsan forward Darijan Bojanic converted the penalty to level it on aggregate.

All of the takers found the net in the shootout except for Ulsan’s Kim Min-woo, whose shot was saved by William Popp. Yokohama defender Eduardo then scored the winning penalty.

Al-Ain, coached by former Argentina striker Hernan Crespo, advanced 5-4 on aggregate over Al-Hilal of Saudi Arabia on Tuesday.

Yokohama will host the first leg of the final on May 11 and then travel to UAE for the return match two weeks later.


AP soccer:

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