Jeonbuk compete the double with 2-1 win in FA Cup final
Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors emerged victorious in the FA Cup on Sunday, beating Ulsan Hyundai FC 2-1 in the second leg of the championship at Jeonju World Cup Stadium in Jeonju, North Jeolla.
Jeonbuk took the title with an aggregate score of 3-2 after the two rivals played to a 1-1 draw in the first leg of the final in Ulsan on Wednesday.
Ulsan drew first blood in Jeonju, taking a 1-0 lead just four minutes into the game with a goal from Júnior Negrão, picking up the rebound from his own blocked header to find the back of the net.
After the early excitement, neither team was able to get anything across for the rest of the first half. Early in the second half, midfielder Lee Seung-gi finally broke the silence, picking up the ball on the edge of the box and picking off the top right corner to bring the score to 1-1 in the 53rd minute.
Eighteen minutes later, in the 71st minute, Lee found the back of the net again, picking up a pass from forward Cho Gue-sung and hammering it home. With that goal, Jeonbuk took a 2-1 lead and never looked back.
With the win, Jeonbuk picked up the double for the first time in the club's history and are now two-thirds of the way toward a historic triple, having already won the K League 1 title last week and now the FA Cup title, with only the Asian Football Confederation Champions League to go.
This year's FA Cup trophy is the first one Jeonbuk have lifted since 2005. The North Jeolla side have now won the cup four times, in 2000, 2003, 2005 and 2020, making them one of the most successful clubs in FA Cup history. Their league title this year was the club's eighth, the K League record.
Lee's two FA Cup final goals round off a strong season for the 32-year-old midfielder, having picked up five goals and two assists throughout 24 games in the K League 1 this year.
For Ulsan, the FA Cup loss follows quickly on the back of their runner-up finish in the K League 1 last week. Ulsan have been trailing behind Jeonbuk for the last few years, narrowly missing out on the K League 1 title both this season and last season by just a few points.
In the FA Cup, Ulsan had seen more recent success than Jeonbuk, at least until this year. Ulsan took home the cup in 2017 and finished runner-up in 2018.
Both teams will now focus on the AFC Champions League. Jeonbuk are currently second in Group H with one point, trailing behind Japan's Yokohama F. Marinos with six points. Ulsan is also second in Group F with one point, behind Japan's FC Tokyo with four points.
Jeonbuk and Ulsan are both due to face teams from Shanghai in the next round of Champions League games later this month, to be held in Qatar. Jeonbuk will face Shanghai SIPG FC on Nov. 22 at Khalifa International Stadium, while Ulsan will be back in action on Nov. 21 against Shanghai Shehua FC at Education City Stadium.
BY JIM BULLEY [email@example.com]
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