Urawa Reds reach Asian Champions League final after shootout

AP , Friday 26 Aug 2022

Urawa Reds of Japan moved into the final of the Asian Champions League with a 3-1 penalty shootout victory over South Korea's Jeonbuk Motors on Thursday.

Urawa Reds
Urawa Reds players greet supporters at the end of the AFC Champions League semi-final football match between South Korea s Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors FC and Japan s Urawa Red Diamonds in Saitama, on August 25, 2022. AFP

The semifinal match went to the shootout after finishing 2-2 at Saitama Stadium. Urawa's Ataru Esaka scored the winning penalty after Kim Bo-kyung, Lee Seung-ki and Kim Jin-su missed for Jeonbuk.

Urawa's Yusuke Matsuo opened the scoring after 11 minutes and Jeonbuk drew even early in the second half when Paik Seung-ho scored from the penalty spot after Ayumu Ohata brought down Song Min-kyu in the area.

Urawa then had most of the chances but could not find a way past Lee Bum-soo in the Jeonbuk goal as Kasper Junker hit the post in the final seconds of regular time.

Jeonbuk looked to have booked a fourth final appearance in extra time when Han Kyo-won scored in the 116th minute, but the celebration was cut short when Junker scored from close range with almost the final kick.

Two-time champion Urawa will have to wait until 2023 to discover its opponent in the final. The tournament is split into two geographic halves and the western zone will complete its knockout stage in February.

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