Tag Archives: 2020 AFC Champions League Final

Ulsan Hyundai FC secure second AFC Champions League title

Junior Negrao scored twice as South Korea’s Ulsan Hyundai came from behind to win the AFC Champions League final with 2-1 win over Iran’s Persepolis in Doha.

Ulsan Hyundai rallied to an impressive comeback victory after Mehdi Abdi Qara gave Persepolis the lead, but Brazilian ace Junior Negrao scored in each half to hand his side their second Continental club title since 2012.

AFC President Shaikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa praised the South Koreans performance, saying “On behalf of the AFC and Asian football family, I would like to congratulate both Persepolis and Ulsan Hyundai for producing a memorable night of spectacular football.

“Ulsan Hyundai deserve our praise for showcasing outstanding quality and I would like to congratulate everyone, from the players, officials as well as the backroom staff, all of those working behind the scenes for their resilience and commitment.

“This has been a challenging year for everyone across the world of football, and the AFC is proud to have successfully and safely delivered the AFC Champions League 2020 for the benefit of our clubs and Member Associations.”

The AFC President also paid tribute to this year’s centralised host – the Qatar Football Association and the Qatar Government – and hailed the efforts of the medical team in Qatar. To mark the return of Asian football and the AFC Champions League 2020 in September, the AFC launched the #FootballForHeroes campaign paying homage to the front liners and healthcare professionals.

In addition to the #FootballForHeroes visuals taking their spots in strategic places across the stadiums, including during Saturday’s final, a special tribute message was also broadcasted live during all matches over the past three months.

The AFC President added: “On behalf of the Asian football family, I want to underline our gratitude once again to the Qatar Football Association, the Qatar Authorities and all our participating clubs. It was an incredible team effort that showcased the unity and solidarity of Asian football.

“I must also thank our broadcast partners, our loyal sponsors as well as the media and our passionate fans, so many of whom continue to be engaged in record numbers.

“And finally, but most importantly, to the medical team in Qatar, our doctors, and front liners as well as the delegation in Qatar. Our achievements would not have been possible without you and this success is a tribute to all of you who have shown great resolve and commitment.

“Today, we celebrate the best of Asian club football, but we also salute your remarkable spirit and sacrifice.”

In the individual awards, Yoon Bit-garam’s phenomenal form for Ulsan Hyundai FC saw the midfielder clinch the Most Valuable Player award while Al Nassr striker Abderrazak Hamdallah was crowned the 2020 AFC Champions League’s top scorer, finishing with seven goals in fewer total minutes throughout the competition ahead of Ulsan Hyundai FC front man Negrão who also completed his spectacular campaign with seven goals.

Excitement builds ahead of 2020 AFC Champions League Final

The 2020 AFC Champions League is set for a thrilling finale as 2018 runners-up Persepolis FC from Iran look to create history with their maiden Continental club crown when they face an inspired Ulsan Hyundai FC eyeing their second title following their 2012 success in what promises to be a classic battle at the Al Janoub Stadium on Saturday at 3pm (local time).
Adding to the excitement, the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) and Qatar Football Association (QFA) are in discussions to allow local spectators into the stadium, with further details on the match day protocols for fans to be finalised in the coming days.
Increasing the stakes, this year’s final will be the first time the Continent’s most sought after club prize will be decided over a single leg since 2012 and the first decider since 2010 to be staged in a neutral venue, as part of the AFC’s commitment to ensure the health and wellbeing of all players, teams and match officials and all stakeholders against the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The enticing Final looks set to be a memorable affair between Asia’s best clubs from the East and West both equally determined to cement their place in Asian football history and claim one of the richest Continental club prizes in world football.
Persepolis were made to work hard for their spot in the Final after a slow start in the Group Stage in February, but hit the ground running after the West restart in September to finish as leaders of Group C.
The Iranian giants grew stronger with each battle, registering impressive victories over 2011 AFC Champions League winners and home favourites Al Sadd and Uzbekistan’s Pakhtakor in the knockouts before displaying nerves of steel to overcome Saudi Arabia’s Al Nassr on penalties in a nail-biting Semi-final to seal their second Final appearance in three years.
Meanwhile, Ulsan Hyundai have hardly put a foot wrong in their route to the final, having scored more than any other team in the tournament with 21 goals, winning every match since restarting their campaign in Qatar.
The 2012 Asian club champions eliminated Melbourne Victory and Beijing FC in the knockouts before an outstanding comeback saw them overcome this season’s debutants Vissel Kobe in extra-time on Sunday.