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Ambitious Vissel Kobe will meet undefeated Ulsan Hyundai in ACL semi-final

The Japanese side managed to defy all the odds by reaching the semi-final in their ACL debut.

Soccer Football - AFC Champions League - Quarter Final - Vissel Kobe v Suwon Bluewings - Al Janoub Stadium, Al Wakrah, Qatar - December 10, 2020 Vissel Kobe's Andres Iniesta and teammates celebrate after winning the penalty shootout REUTERS/Ibraheem

Following their successful 2019 campaign, Vissel Kobe earned their AFC Champions League debut.

The Japanese outfit's current domestic season hasn't been as successful as the previous one. However, the J-League side made history by reaching the semi-finals of ACL (East), where they will compete with Ulsan Hyundai for a place in the final game against Perspolis of Iran.

Led by former sporting director Atsuhiro Miura, Vissel Kobe finished the group stage as Group G winners and went on to meet Chinese Shanghai SIPG, sealing a 3-1 victory over Fabio Cannavaro's men with a magnificent performance.

Vissel later took on Suwon Samsung Bluewings whom they had previously defeated 1-0 in their initial game of the campaign. But this time the South Korean team rose to the occasion as the game ended 1-1 after extra time. But Vissel booked their place in the semi-finals with a 7-6 victory on a penalty shootout.

Ulsan Hyundai and their seven-match winning streak

An extremely fierce opponent will be awaiting the Japanese side in the semi-final as Ulsan Hyundai have been in great form since arriving in Doha, delivering stunning performances and scoring multiple goals in their seven previous fixtures.

The South Korean outfit enter this encounter as favorites after defeating the unbeaten FC Beijing 2-0 in the quarter-final game with a brace from the Brazilian Júnior Negrão.

In addition, Vissel Kobe will be playing the semi-final game less than 72 hours after their crunch 120-minute quarter-final game that resulted in several players suffering from fatigue and muscular injuries.


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