Ulsan are champions of Asia

K League 1 runner-up Ulsan Hyundai won the 2020 AFC Champions League for the second time in their history over the weekend. The aforementioned was seen as the Brazilian Junior Negrao netted a brace for his club against Iranian Champions Persepolis.

Fans inside the ground 

This was a cup final like many have been before in 2020 with very few fans in attendance, despite this the AFC organisers did a great job to make you feel like there was a big occasion. This was seen with both sides having 3,000 cardboard cutouts. 

Am unsure of the official attendance but around 12,000 tickets went on sale to locals in Qatar, following the protocols in place for a football league match in Qatar that allows spectators up to 30% of the stadium capacity. As am sure you appreciate due to Covid-19 quarantine restrictions and regulations in Qatar no travelling fans were in attendance. 

The game 

To the match itself, it was a cagey start to the game at the Al Janoub Stadium in Al Wakrah, Qatar. As despite the Korean side starting well by hitting the woodwork inside ten minutes it looked like the match would be goalless going into halftime. 

This all changed though when on 45 minutes the Persepolis forward Mehdi Abdi found the net for the Iranian side. The 12,000 or so inside the ground could then be forgiven for thinking the Iranians were set to go in with a lead at half time.

It all changed though moments later when Yoon Bit-Garam was clipped in the box by Persepolis midfielder Nourollahi. At first, the referee waved play on but it was then pulled back by VAR and given correctly as a penalty kick. 

The man with the goals Junior Negrao stepped up for his side but this was saved but unfortunately for the Iranian club, it came straight back out to Junior who slotted home at the second attempt. In a strange turn of events, here was, in fact, the first time Persepolis had conceded from open play since the tournament restart. 

Having gone in level both sides looked to try and take the game to each other in the second 45, it was despite the best effect from the club from Iran that Ulsan took the lead on 55 minutes. 

This time VAR came in again as the ball clearly hit the arm of defender Mehdi Shiri from a cross into the box. This time Negrao made no mistake from the spot to score his seventh of the campaign, moving level with Abderazzak Hamdallah at the top of the scoring charts. 

Persepolis of course then pushed forward but were unable to find the equaliser despite a penalty claim five minutes from time. This was Ulsan second ever Champions League title and Koreas twelfth.


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