Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors Advances to AFC Champions League Quarterfinals After Defeating Pohang Steelers

SEOUL - In a riveting showdown that underscored their dominance in Asian club football, Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors progressed to the quarterfinals of the AFC Champions League, eliminating their domestic rivals Pohang Steelers. The critical match, held on Tuesday, ended in a 1-1 draw, but Jeonbuk's aggregate victory of 3-1 ensured their advancement.

According to Yonhap News Agency, the match took place at the Pohang Steel Yard, located 260 kilometers southeast of Seoul. This victory came on the heels of Jeonbuk's 2-0 win in the opening leg of the round of 16 against the same team last week. The outcome sets the stage for a potential clash with another K League 1 team in the quarterfinals scheduled for March. Jeonbuk now awaits the winner of the series between Ulsan HD FC, the reigning K League 1 champions for two consecutive seasons, and Ventforet Kofu from Japan. Ulsan, having secured a 3-0 lead in the first leg, aims to finalize their quarterfinal spot in the return leg in Tokyo.

The match on Tuesday evening was challenged by rain, adding an extra layer of intensity as Pohang pursued a three-goal victory to advance. Their efforts bore fruit 12 minutes into the game when Park Chan-yong delivered a stunning long-range goal, catching Jeonbuk's goalkeeper Kim Jeong-hoon off guard. Despite their early lead, Pohang's ambition to extend their advantage was thwarted late in the first half when Lee Ho-jae's shot struck the right goalpost.

Jeonbuk's resilience was on full display as Jeong Tae-wook's equalizer in the 76th minute crushed Pohang's hopes of a comeback. The Steelers found themselves in need of two additional goals to push the match into extra time, a feat that ultimately proved beyond their reach.

As Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors sets its sights on securing its third AFC Champions League title, this victory not only highlights their strategic prowess and resilience but also cements their status as a formidable force in Asian football.

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