Thu, Nov 15, 2007 - Page 20 News List

Urawa clinch Champions League title

AFP , SAITAMA, JAPAN

J-League and Emperor's Cup holders Urawa Reds won their first AFC Champions League title by edging Iran's Sepahan 2-0 in the second leg of the final yesterday.

Urawa had needed a scoreless draw after fighting out a 1-1 draw away a week earlier, but they exploded before a noisy sell-out home crowd of 60,000 at the Saitama Stadium.

Forward Yuchiro Nagai drew first blood in the 22nd minute and midfielder Yuki Abe, who plays center back for Japan, added another goal in the 71st minute.

Both Urawa and Sepahan had sought to become the first club from their countries to clinch the Asian title since the continental championship was expanded into its current format in 2003 by merging with the Cup Winners' Cup.

Urawa, playing in their first AFC Champions League campaign, have not lost a match with five wins and seven draws, beating defending champions Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors of South Korea 4-1 on aggregate in the quarter-finals.

Sepahan have scored five wins and five draws against two losses in the competition.

Jubilo Iwata were the last Japanese team to win the Asian club championship in 1999, while Iran has been without the title since 1993 when PAS triumphed.

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