Golmohammadi expects ACL final to be ‘exciting’ match

TEHRAN, Dec. 18 (MNA) – Persepolis head coach Yahya Golmohammadi believes that Saturday’s match between his team and South Korea’s Ulsan Hyundai will be an ‘exciting encounter’.

The two teams are set to lock horns in the final of the 2020 AFC Champions League in Doha-based Al Janoub Stadium on Saturday.

Speaking in a presser on Friday, Golmohammadi voiced his respect for the Korean team, however, noting that Persepolis is in Doha only for winning the title.

“It is a difficult final match that is extremely important for both teams. Both teams put in a lot of effort and went through difficult days to reach here, so both teams are here on merit and I expect one of the most exciting matches in Asian football," said Golmohammadi, the AFC reported.

"Ulsan Hyundai is a very good team, and they are fighters just like us. We are Persepolis and we have one objective which is to win the AFC Champions League. I promise Persepolis fans that we will fight from start to finish and give everything to bring the trophy home and bring joy to our fans.”

Both Persepolis and Ulsan Hyundai are appearing in their second final, with the Koreans having defeated Al Ahli Saudi FC to win the 2012 title and Persepolis having lost 2018 final to Japan’s Kashima Antlers.

Under the guidance of former defender Yahya Golmohammadi, Persepolis recovered from losing their first game of the campaign to top Group C, then continued their march to the final. Should they win the title, they would become the first to do so after losing their opening match since Western Sydney Wanderers in 2014.

Meanwhile, Ulsan Hyundai is eyeing an improvement on a record they already own, having been the last team to win the AFC Champions League without losing a single match. Back in 2012, they drew two matches out of 12, but with one match to go in the current edition, the Ulsan-based side would lift the trophy with 10 wins and one draw should they overcome Persepolis without needing penalty shootouts.

Head coach Kim Do-hoon said Ulsan Hyundai is well prepared for the final.

“I am really proud of the fact we came here to Qatar and fought all the way until the final. We face a great team tomorrow. We played very well so far and we want to do everything tomorrow to win the title," said Kim.

"We had a good period to recover after the semi-final, all the players enjoyed training and we prepared very well. We analyzed Persepolis; they are an organized team with stamina and are a physical team and very powerful on the pitch. It is important to start focused and this is our last game so we need to not feel the pressure and enjoy our game.”

A decade earlier, Zobahan FC faced Seongnam Chunma Ilhwa at the National Stadium in Tokyo, coincidentally, the last final to be played in a neutral venue. Back then it was the Koreans who emerged 3-1 winner.

MAH/PR

News Code 167308

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