Vissel Kobe FC of Japan have booked their place in the finalin the East region of the Asian Champions League after a nervy penalty win over South Korean club Suwon Bluewings during their semi-final clash on Thursday in the East region. Suwon Bluewings and Japan topflight club Vissel Kobe had to resort to the dreaded penalty shootout after the two teams scored a goal apiece at the end of regulation time and extra time.
Vissel Kobe FC of Japan had qualified for the quarterfinals of the Champions League after they defeated Chinese team Shanghai East Asia 2-0 in the round of 16 through the goals from Spanish football legend Andres Iniesta and Daigo Nishi in the first half and second half of the game respectively. On their part, Suwon Bluewings edged Yokohama FM of Japan in a five-goal thriller to book a last eight meeting with Vissel Kobe who were able to avenge the defeat of their fellow Japan topflight club.
Sang-Hyeok Park gave Suwon Bluewings the lead as early as the seventh minute and they were largely in control of the game until the moment of madness from Kim Tae-Hwan. The South Korean defender was sent off on 38 minutes and it took Vissel Kobe just two minutes to score the equaliser through Japanese forward Kyogo Furuhashi. Furuhashi has one cap for Japan and that came during the match with Venezuela in the Kirin Cup last year.
Vissel Kobe won 7-6 on penalties after the two teams failed to add to their tally for the rest of the game in both regulation and extra time. On their part, Ulsan Hyundai beat Beijing Guoan 2-0 to setup a final meeting in the East region and the overall semi-final meeting in the Asian Champions. The winner will face West region champion Perspolis FC of Iran.