Jeonbuk and Karama face off in final

Jeonbuk Motors and Al Karama weren’t expected to get past the group stages of the AFC Champions League, however the two teams will face off in final with the first leg to be played in Jeonju, South Korea on Wednesday.

The winner of the AFC Champions League will qualify for the Fifa Club World Cup in Japan in December where Uefa champions Barcelona are one of four clubs to have already qualified for the six team competition.


Along with the Spanish giants, Mexican team Club America will represent CONCACAF, Brazilian side Internacional will represent CONEMBOL, while the Oceania Football Confederation (OFC), will be represented by Auckland City FC.


The qualifier from the Confederation of African Football (CAF), will be either Al Ahly from Egypt, or Tunisia’s CS Sfaxien who played out a 1-1 draw in the first leg of their final in Cairo on Sunday.


For Koreans Jeonbuk and Syrian side Al Karama, the opportunity to play against the other continental champions adds to their desire to become the club champions of Asia.


“We truly believe that we can win the final,” said Jeonbuk’s former South Korea international defender Choi Jin-cheul.


“We have shown that despite the odds we can beat any team.


“We have proved how well we can fight throughout this competition. We never say die.”


Jeonbuk, Korean FA Cup holders, have eliminated the league champions of Japan, China and Korea on their way to the final, coming from behind to beat compatriots Ulsan Horang-i in an all-Korean semi-final.


Al Karama in form


Al Karama have also pulled off some stunning victories on their quest for glory, defeating the champions of Qatar, the United Arab Emirates and Kuwait as well as shocking two-time AFC Champions League holders Al Ittihad.


Mohamed Kwid, Al Karama coach, was not expecting to meet Jeonbuk in the final, but was pleased that his side will have the advantage of playing the decisive match of the tie at home.


“We had an eye on meeting Ulsan as we thought that they had the upper hand,” Kwid said.


“(But) since Jeonbuk won that clash, we have to reconsider our options and tactics for the final. But the good thing is that we’ll play the second leg at home.”


Being the first team from Syria to make the AFC Champions League final and with national pride at stake, Al Karama were given the weekend off from the domestic league in order to prepare for Wednesday’s showdown.


The second leg of the final will be played in Syria on November 8.

Source: Al Jazeera, News Agencies

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