Football

A historic face-off awaits Persepolis and Ulsan Hyundai

Iranian club Persepolis are set to take on South Korean outfit Ulsan Hyundai with both teams eyeing a festive coronation in Doha.

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A historic face-off awaits Persepolis and Ulsan Hyundai
NOUSHAD THEKKAYIL EFE

Persepolis of Iran and South Korea's Ulsan Hyundai are set to meet in the AFC Champions League final on Saturday with both teams boasting a rich history in the competition.

Having reached the final game twice in the last three years, Persepolis are dreaming of putting an end to the continental trophy drought Iranian clubs have been suffering since 1992-1993 when PAS Tehran won the Asian Club Championship.

Persepolis's current squad comprises of many players who lost the 2018 final to Japan's Kashima Antlers and are expected to fiercely fight for this year's title at Al Janoub Stadium on Saturday.

Persepolis have been present in the knock-out stages at three of the past five editions of the AFC Champions League, while their most successful era in Asian football dates back to the 1990s when they lifted the 1990-91 Asian Cup Winners Cup trophy, before finishing in second place the following year.

The Iranian giant awoke in 2018 and was very close to lifting the ACL trophy as they eliminated Al Jazira, Al Duhail, and Al Sadd in the knock-out stages before losing to Kashima Antlers 2-0 in the final game.

Undefeated Ulsan Hyundai are close to making history

Having won the 2012 title, Ulsan Hyundai came very close to becoming the fourth South Korean club to be crowned Asian Champions and the second club to win two titles in the Champions League era.

The South Korean outfit made their debut in the Asian Club Championship in 1997-98, before their AFC Champions League era began in 2006 when they participated as K-League champions and went all the way to the semi-finals in their first appearance.

2012 was the year the team made history, after finishing runners-up of the 2011 K league campaign to book their place in the continental tournament the following year.

The team remained unbeaten throughout their whole campaign and completed a nine-game winning streak when they won the final game.

Ulsan Hyundai delivered an outstanding display in the final game against Saudi-Arabian Al-Ahly sealing a 3-1 victory to write the perfect ending to their extraordinary campaign while 42,000 fans were present in the Ulsan Munsu Football Stadium.