Persepolis 1-2 Ulsan Hyundai: results, summary and goals
Persepolis FC vs Ulsan Hyundai: Live Updates
South Korea’s Ulsan Hyundai have scooped their second title of the Asian Champions League era following their 2-1 victory over Iranian club Persepolis, who have been consigned to their third consecutive final defeat in four years.
For a very brief moment towards the end of the first half, things were looking good for Persepolis as they took the lead thanks to a well-struck shot from distance by striker Abdi Qara, who was allowed to break following a major defensive blunder from Ulsan’s full-back Park Joo-Ho.
The 45th minute goal had come against the run of play somewhat as Ulsan had the larger share of chances. And it took the South Korean side just four minutes to respond, with Brazilian striker Junior Negao stepping up to score on the rebound from a VAR-awarded penalty after Lak did well to save Negao’s initial attempt from the spot. And that proved to be the last play of the first half.
Less than ten minutes into the second half, Persepolis gave away their second penalty in quick succession, allowing Negao to score again. This time the Brazilian forward made sure first time, sending Lak the wrong way and driving the ball into the right side of the net. And with those two goals, Negao had secured himself the Golden Boot for this season’s edition of the ACL tournament.
Persepolis dominated the last 30 minutes as they desperately went in search of an equaliser. The Iranian side made several chances, the best of which was expertly saved by Jo as Kanaani’s header looked bound for the top right corner in the 89th minute. It turned out Kanaani was inches offside so it would not have counted anyway, although that took nothing away from Jo’s phenomenal save to tip the headed strike over the bar (perhaps a contender for save of the season had Kanaani not been offside). That came just four minutes after Persepolis had a penalty claim rejected by VAR, much to the fury of the Iranian side and their fans.
And with that, Persepolis must deal with a heart-breaking third consecutive final defeat, as Ulsan lifted the trophy for the second time following their first title win in 2012 against Saudi Arabia’s Al Ahli. The victory now means that East Asian sides have won the ACL final 11 of 14 times against West Asian opponents.
Ulsan have scooped their second title of the ACL era as the wait for the first Iranian winner since 1992 will have to continue...
Peep, peep, peep it's all over! Elation for Ulsan, as the tears roll down the face of double-scorer Negao. Pure heartbreak for Persepolis as they lose their third consecutive final.
Poor corner delivery for Persepolis there and that may have been there last chance of the game.
Persepolis throiwng the kitchen sink at it now with 5 minutes added on. Can they do it?
What a save! Absolutely phenomenal save from Ulsan's Jo as he manages to tip Kanaani's headed strike over the bar. I don't think I've seen a better save all season. It would not have counted anyway as he was offside... just!
Persepolis have had a penatly claim rejected after the ref checked the pitchside TV following a VAR call. And they're furious.
Two more changes for Ulsan: Strange one as double-scorer Junior Negao is taken off for Bjorn Johnsen. Jung Seung-Hyun is on for Sin Jin-Ho.
The game's first booking comes in the 79th minute as Ulsan's Dutch centre-back Bulthuis goes in the book for a late and nasty challenge.
The Persepolis fans trying to urge their side on now with every kick of the ball as the clock edges towards 80.
Ulsan make the first two changes of the game: Lee Chung-Yong and Park Joo-Ho go off, making way for Hong Chul and Lee Keun-Ho.
Persepolis have 20 minutes of normal time to salvage their title hopes!
Nourallahi lets fly from distance! But Lak does well to save. Persepolis really want this equaliser to avoid a third consecutive final defeat.
Another chance for Persepolis! Not one, but two Persepolis players jump for the ball delivered by Aghaei, but neither can connect well with the head.
Chance for Perspolis as a header is directed just over the bar from close range!
Goal Ulsan!!! Negao is once again handed the penalty duties and this time he leaves Lak with no chance. The Persepolis keeper dives to his right as Negao drives the ball into opposite side of the net. Ulsan lead 2-1 after being awarded a second penalty in quick succession.
Penalty for Ulsan! A clear handball from the Persepolis defender, who cut out a cross as Negao was lining himself up for the volley from 10 yards out. The ref checks the TV after VAR called the handball and has awarded the penalty.
First chance of the first half falls to Ulsan as Shiri delivers a cross from the right but the ball can't find any of his team mates in the box.
Possession was fairly even during the opening 45 but Hyundai have created more chances, with eight attempts to Persepolis' two. Three on target from the South Koreans compared to just one from the Iranian outfit.
Peep! The second half is underway!
The winners of today's final will go into the 2020 Club World Cup in Qatar in February, for which Bayern Munich, Al-Duhail, Auckland City and Al Ahly have already qualified.
A frantic finish to the opening 45, a sweeping goal from Persepolis and then a VAR penalty award to level the tie. Plenty of chances at both ends in the final and we can expect more of the same in the second half with both sides up for this one!
Peep, peep! And that's the end of the first half, what a thrilling end to the first 45!
GOAL ULSAN!!! Negao steps up to take the penalty, Lak saves but spills and the Brazilian is able to tap the ball in from the rebound. 1-1!
It's all happening at the end of the first half! As Ulsan have been awarded a penalty by VAR for Nourallahi's missed-timed challenge on Yoon.
Goal for Persepolis!!! Right at the end of normal time!! Ulsan's Park will be kicking himself as he needlessly lost the ball in his own third, allowing Abdi Qara to break. The Persepolis striker has a team mate to his left as he edges towards goal but decides to go it alone and expertly guides the ball to the left corner. 1-0 to Persepolis.
Decent delivery for Abdi Qara in the box but he's dispossessed by Ulsan's Dutch centre-back Bulthuis as he tried to get a shot off from an acute angle on the edge of the six-yard box.
Another niggly foul this time by Park on Nemati. The ref has yet to take his book out but perhaps he should have for that needless challenge by the Ulsan full back.
Resan does very well to disposses Ulsan's Kim on two occasions in quick succession, Solid stuff from the Persepolis midfielder.
Persepolis have a chance to break with Abdi Qara in plenty of space to the right, but the pass is way overcooked for the striker and the opportunity goes a begging for the Iranian side.
With 30 minutes gone here, Ulsan have had five chances to Persepolis' one. The South Korean side are edging possesion at 53%.
Won Du Jae has taken a knock and needed some attention but the Ulsan midfielder eventually gets back on his feet.
In almost a carbon copy from the earlier chance, Negao heads over from a well-delivered cross from the right. Ulsan have been looking more dominant so far.
Another chance for Ulsan! But Lak does well to get down to save the goal-bound effort from distance, this time from Yoon again.
Negao tries to take on the whole Persepolis defence all on his own before his shot is closed down. He had men around him there that he could and should have used.
Great chance for Ulsan! As Kim delivers the perfect cross towards Negao in the box, but the Brazilian's headed effort drifts just over. Ulsan have come close now on two occasions.
Ulsan's Yoon tries for goal direct from a free kick from 30 yards, but he can't get the ball passed the wall.
Chance Persepolis! Nourollahi is teed up by Shiri and launches one from 20 yards. It's taken a wicked deflection off Bulthuis and flies wide of the near post.
Ulsan hit the post! Some beautiful link up play between Kim, Won and Yoon ends with Yoon blasting a shot first-time from 20 yards. It's beaten Lak in goal but smacks the outside of the right post.
Chance Persepolis! Resan delivers a great cross towards Abdi Qara in the box, but the ball is just to high for him to reach wih his head.
Another fouls from Ulsan and now Perseplis have a free-kick from a dangerous area....
The free kick is swung in by Shiri but cleared by Ulsan.
Both sides have looked nervy in these opening minutes, with neither yet to have created a decent chance.
Tough challenge from Kim on Sarlark and Persepolis have a freekick.
Peep! The match is underway!
Here's what Persepolis star midfielder Bashar Resan has to say before the game:
"We’ve had a tough campaign and making the final has not been easy, particularly after starting badly and picking up only one point from our first two games.
“Things changed for the better after it was decided to play all the knockout games in Qatar. We turned things around despite going up against very strong sides from West Asia. Having to play a match every three days was very difficult too, but we’re now one game away from being crowned Asian champions."
Some key stats ahead of the game:
East Asian sides have won the ACLFinal 10 of 13 times over West Asian opposition.
Persepolis have kept a clean sheet in 48 % of ACL matches since 2018.
Ulsan are the first ever team to win 8 straight scoring more than goal (20 total).
14:45 (local time): It's 15 minutes to kick off in Doha!
An image from the stadium shows real fans mixed in between cardboard cutouts. The ACL Final in the age of panemic.
It's 14:30 in Doha, with the game getting underway in 30 minutes!
Some stats courtesy of OptaJeev: - "PersepolisFC have played 41 matches in AFC Champions League since 2017, at least four more than any other team (Shanghai SIPG 37) in the period. They have won 18 games (D12 L11), no other team have won more (Al Duhail also 18)."
The bookies have Ulsan Hyundai as the slight favourites to win this at 1.75, with Persepolis on 2.0
55 mins to kick off... this has all the hallmarks of being a cracker between two titans of the competition...
Fans back for the final
It has been announced that spectators will be permitted to attend the final in Doha, the first time fans will be allowed to watch the competition in person since play was suspended in March due to the covid-19 pandemic. The Asian Football Confederation said on the eve of the decider that spectators totalling “up to 30 percent of the stadium capacity” would be allowed into the 40,000-seater Al Janoub Stadium.
All fans will be required to supply a negative result for a covid-19 antigen test, with tickets available thereafter on a first-come first-served basis. Authorities in Qatar have previously allowed fans to attend matches in Doha, with a crowd of 1,044 admitted to the national team’s 2022 World Cup qualifier with Bangladesh earlier this month.
The Iranian and South Korean clubs both have a strong historical connection.
Persepolis have been to the final twice in the last three years but on each occasion were not able to complete the dream. Could this year be third time lucky? If they are they would end the Iranian trophy drought that has run since 1992-1993 when PAS Tehran won the Asian Club Championship.
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.
Hello and welcome to our coverage of the ACL final between Persepolis and Ulsan Hyundai. The game gets underway in less than an hour in Doha. In the meantime, you can follow the build-up here with us. Team news to follow.