|Al Sadd’s coach Jorge Fossati was full of praise for his side (Reuters)|
Qatar’s Al Sadd will meet South Korea’s Jeonbuk Motors in the final of the Asian Champions League after edging past Suwon Bluewings 2-1 on aggregate.
Al Sadd maintained their hopes of becoming the first Qatari side to win the revamped competition despite losing 1-0 at home in Wednesday’s semifinal second leg.
There was none of the acrimony of the first leg – a game Al Sadd won 2-0 and which featured a controversial second goal and three red cards – and although the South Korean visitors took the lead through Oh Jang-eun’s eighth minute strike, they could not force the second they needed.
Al Sadd coach Jorge Fossati praised his side’s performance as they overcame the intial shock of conceding the early goal.
“Of course we are very, very happy. To overcome them was difficult. There were many problems and yet we won and that’s why I am happy,” Fossati said, according to the Asian Football Confederation website.
Fossati’s team played without suspended strikers Abdulkader Keita and Mamadou Niang.
“We didn’t give them the space, especially in the second half. Then they had to go aerial, which we tackled well.”
Jeonbuk, whose Jeonju stadium will host the final, beat Saudi Arabian side Al Ittihad 2-1 earlier in the day to advance from its semifinal 5-3 on aggregate.
Brazilian playmaker Eninho scored both goals in Jeonbuk win.
“We got what we wanted, we are at home for the final and that is an advantage,” Jeonbuk coach Choi Kang-hee told reporters. “Eninho’s goals were a big help but we still had work to do.”
Al-Ittihad’s slim hopes of overturning the 3-2 first leg deficit suffered an early blow when their leading striker Naif Hazazi was shown a red card in the 12th minute for head-butting Cho Sung-hwan.
Hazazi, who scored his side’s two goals in the first leg, shoved a team mate after the referee waved the red card, before collapsing to his knees in tears. Two other Saudi players had to help him from the field.
“The sending-off was another blow but there won’t be any punishment for Hazazi. He is an excellent player and this kind of thing happens in football,” Al-Ittihad coach Dimitri Davidovic said.