2018 AFC Champions League Final
|Event||2018 AFC Champions League|
|Date||3 November 2018|
|Venue||Kashima Soccer Stadium, Kashima|
|Man of the Match||Léo Silva (Kashima Antlers)|
|Referee||Ma Ning (China)|
15 °C (59 °F)
|Date||10 November 2018|
|Venue||Azadi Stadium, Tehran|
|Man of the Match||Godwin Mensha (Persepolis)|
|Referee||Ahmed Al-Kaf (Oman)|
10 °C (50 °F)
The 2018 AFC Champions League Final was the final of the 2018 AFC Champions League, the 37th edition of the top-level Asian club football tournament organized by the Asian Football Confederation (AFC), and the 16th under the current AFC Champions League title.
The final was contested in a two-legged home-and-away format between Kashima Antlers from Japan and Persepolis from Iran. The first leg was hosted by Kashima Antlers at the Kashima Soccer Stadium in Kashima on 3 November 2018, while the second leg was hosted by Persepolis at the Azadi Stadium in Tehran on 10 November 2018.
Kashima Antlers won the final 2–0 on aggregate for their first AFC Champions League title. As winners, they earned the right to represent the AFC at the 2018 FIFA Club World Cup, entering at the second round.
- 1 Teams
- 2 Venues
- 3 Background
- 4 Road to the final
- 5 Format
- 6 Officials
- 7 Pre-match
- 8 Matches
- 9 Incidents
- 10 See also
- 11 References
- 12 External links
In the following table, finals until 2002 were in the Asian Club Championship era, since 2003 were in the AFC Champions League era.
|Team||Region||Previous finals appearances (bold indicates winners)|
|Kashima Antlers||East Region (Zone: EAFF)||None|
|Persepolis||West Region (Zone: CAFA)||None|
The 2018 AFC Champions League Final was contested in two-legged home-and-away format, held at the home of both finalists. It is the sixth consecutive year that the AFC adopted such an arrangement.
78,116 seater Azadi Stadium hosted the second leg. It is the third time that an Asian club final played in the Azadi Stadium, with the previous final being 1999 and 2002. One of the problems for Azadi's hosting was women's presence at stadium ban, which is runs since 1979. Persepolis officials promised to provide their presence. The stadium also had minor renovations after Persepolis' qualification to the final.
Persepolis became the fifth different Iranian side, third in the AFC Champions League era to qualify for the final. It was the first time since 2010 that an Iranian side qualified for the final, Zob Ahan losing 1–3 to Seongnam Ilhwa Chunma of South Korea, that time around. They faced some tough opponents on their road to the final, the highlight being their challengers in the semifinal — Al-Sadd of Qatar who lined up with Barcelona great Xavi in the midfield and former Atlético Madrid legend Gabi manning the defence.
Kashima Antlers became the seventh different Japanese side, third in the AFC Champions League era to qualify for the final. They made consecutive appearances for Japanese clubs in the final, Urawa Red Diamonds winning 2–1 on aggregate against Al-Hilal of Saudi Arabia in the previous edition. They were the runners-up of the 2016 FIFA Club World Cup where they lost 2–4 to the Spanish giants Real Madrid in extra time.
Road to the final
Note: In all results below, the score of the finalist is given first (H: home; A: away).
|Shanghai Shenhua||1–1 (H)||Matchday 1||Nasaf Qarshi||3–0 (H)|
|Suwon Samsung Bluewings||2–1 (A)||Matchday 2||Al-Sadd||1–3 (A)|
|Sydney FC||2–0 (A)||Matchday 3||Al-Wasl||2–0 (H)|
|Sydney FC||1–1 (H)||Matchday 4||Al-Wasl||1–0 (A)|
|Shanghai Shenhua||2–2 (A)||Matchday 5||Nasaf Qarshi||0–0 (A)|
|Suwon Samsung Bluewings||0–1 (H)||Matchday 6||Al-Sadd||1–0 (H)|
|Group H runners-up
|Final standings||Group C winners
|Opponent||Agg.||1st leg||2nd leg||Knockout stage||Opponent||Agg.||1st leg||2nd leg|
|Shanghai SIPG||4–3||3–1 (H)||1–2 (A)||Round of 16||Al-Jazira||4–4 (a)||2–3 (A)||2–1 (H)|
|Tianjin Quanjian||5–0||2–0 (H)||3–0 (A)||Quarter-finals||Al-Duhail||3–2||0–1 (A)||3–1 (H)|
|Suwon Samsung Bluewings||6–5||3–2 (H)||3–3 (A)||Semi-finals||Al-Sadd||2–1||1–0 (A)||1–1 (H)|
The final was played on a home-and-away two-legged basis, with the order of legs (first leg hosted by team from the East Region, second leg hosted by team from the West Region) reversed from the previous season's final.
The ambassador for the first leg final was former Brazilian footballer and Kashima Antlers legend Zico. Zico is currently technical manager of the team and brought the trophy before the first match. For the second leg, Persepolis announced its legend Ali Parvin as the ambassador.
With a stadium capacity of 90,000 for the second leg final, a total of 84,412 tickets were available to fans and the general public, with the guest team had 5,000 tickets. The price of the tickets was: 800,000 Rial ($19), 500,000 Rial ($12) and 300,000 Rial ($7).
Iranian singer Mohsen Ebrahimzadeh performed at the opening ceremony preceding the second leg final. The time of concert was 8 minutes and two songs performed. One of the songs was be English and other Persian.
The first big chance fell to the visitors when a cross from the right was nodded into the path of Ali Alipour in the fourth minute. Just eight yards from goal, the striker looked certain to score but Jung Seung-hyun threw himself into the path of the shot and blocked it with his head. Two minutes later, Ahmad Nourollahi's free-kick from the left was tipped over by Kwoun Sun-tae as Persepolis applied early pressure. Kashima worked their way back into the game but the away side's threat on the break was demonstrated when Hiroki Abe was booked for a cynical foul on Bashar Resan as the midfielder surged forward. The hosts finally created an opening in the 25th minute as Daigo Nishi's cushioned header found Yuma Suzuki. But the striker's shot from a narrow angle flashed well wide of the far post. Six minutes later, Kashima had another opportunity when a through ball from Shoma Doi put Serginho through. The Brazilian created an angle for his shot but Shoja' Khalilzadeh slid in to make a vital block.
Kashima made the first chance of the second half when Abe instigated a move that ended with Serginho laying the ball back for Silva. The Brazilian tried to curl a shot into the top corner but his attempt drifted wide. But Silva soon had reason to celebrate as he gave Kashima the lead in the 58th minute. The midfield man played a neat one-two with Shoma on the edge of the Persepolis penalty area and cut inside before curling a low left-footed shot into the corner from 18 yards. Kashima then added their second in the 70th minute. The ball broke to Kento Misao 20 yards out and he played a deft pass into the path of Serginho on the right and the Brazilian placed his shot into the far corner from the edge of the six-yard box. There was a further blow for Persepolis as Siamak Nemati received his second yellow card in added time and the midfielder would miss the second leg.
Persepolis, known for their mean defence, had no option but to attack, but Kashima goalkeeper Kwoun Sun-tae put in a virtuoso performance. Kwoun, for whom this was a third Asian crown following two with South Korea's Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors, was at the top of his game, keeping the Iranians, especially Ali Alipour and Bashar Resan at bay. Seven minutes before half-time Resan muscled his way past two defenders close to the Kashima goal, but failed to beat Kwoun at his near post.
Persepolis coach Branko Ivankovic sent on Mohsen Rabiekhah and Ehsan Alvanzadeh in a desperate attempt to break the deadlock but to no avail. After winning the home leg 2–0, the Japanese team held Persepolis to a goalless stalemate in Iran to clinch their first-ever title in the tournament.
An Iranian Jimmy Jump skip to the ground in the 21st minute of first leg match in Japan. He accompanied a Pre-revolution Iranian Lion and Sun flag, which is belongs to the Iranian opposition todays. He was also wearing a shirt with image of Abdolfattah Soltani, Iranian detained judge.
Hundreds of Iranian women were allowed to attend the second leg, where Iranian female fans had been barred from attending official matches in Iran for more than 35 years.
- "Kashima Antlers v Persepolis FC". the-afc.com. Asian Football Confederation. 3 November 2018. Archived from the original on 11 November 2018. Retrieved 11 November 2018.
- "Persepolis FC v Kashima Antlers". the-afc.com. Asian Football Confederation. 10 November 2018. Archived from the original on 11 November 2018. Retrieved 11 November 2018.
- "2018 AFC Champions League Competition Regulations" (PDF). AFC.
- AFC Champions League 2018: 5 things to know about finalists Persepolis FC of Iran
- Kashima aiming to add ACL title to list of championships
- Kashima Antlers secure spot in ACL decider
- "Quarter-final ties confirmed". AFC. 23 May 2018.
- ACL Final: Chinese Referee to Officiate Persepolis v Kashima Antlers
- پروین سفیر جام فینال لیگ قهرمانان آسیا در تهران
- برگزاری کنسرت در ورزشگاه آزادی روز فینال آسیا!
- "Final – 1st Leg: Kashima Antlers 2–0 Persepolis". AFC. 3 November 2018.
- آمار نیمه نخست فینال لیگ قهرمانان آسیا
- آمار نهایی بازی کاشیما – پرسپولیس
- Football: Kashima Antlers win first Asian Champions League with Persepolis draw
- "Kashima Antlers realise their dream". AFC. 10 November 2018.
- آمار نهایی بازی کاشیما – پرسپولیس
- ورود جیمی جامپ با پرچم ایران در بازی کاشیما-پرسپولیس
- "Iran women attend Asian Champions League football final". BBC Sport. 10 November 2018.