Shin-sational! Hero goalie puts Suwon into Asian semis

SUWON, South Korea: Goalkeeper Shin Hwa-yong saved three penalties as Suwon Bluewings weathered Jeonbuk Motors’ sensational fightback and reached the AFC Champions League semifinals in a heart-stopping shootout on Wednesday.
Shin took the quarterfinal second leg into extra time at 3-3 on aggregate when he saved Adriano’s injury-time spot-kick, and he blocked two more in the shootout as Suwon edged a thrilling South Korean derby. It was tough to swallow for Jeonbuk, who recovered from losing the first leg 3-0 by scoring three unanswered goals to come within a whisker of going through.
Suwon will now play Japan’s Kashima Antlers in next month’s semifinals as they go in search of their third Champions League crown, after winning two in a row in 2001 and 2002.
At a wet Suwon World Cup Stadium, Jeonbuk dominated the early exchanges and it was no surprise when Adriano scored from close range on 11 minutes, from Dejan Damjanovic’s cross.
Jeonbuk’s Son Jun-ho went off after one of a series of two-footed challenges. A bad-tempered half ended in a melee as players and team staff remonstrated with Iranian referee Alireza Faghani.
Suwon were still 3-1 ahead on aggregate but six minutes after half-time, Choi Bo-kyung’s glancing header from a poorly defended corner made it all to play for at 3-2. Then, just five minutes after coming on, South Korea international Kim Shin-wook levelled the aggregate scores at 3-3 with a powerful header into the top corner on 71 minutes.
Jeonbuk looked to have clinched a dramatic comeback when Jo Sung-jin dragged down Adriano in the box in injury time — but Shin palmed away the Brazilian’s penalty to take it into extra time. Neither side could land the knockout blow and it was left to Shin to save from Jeonbuk’s Kim Shin-wook and Lee Dong-gook before Elvis Saric rolled in the decisive penalty to seal the shoot-out 4-2. Suwon open their two-legged semifinal against Kashima in two weeks’ time, while Iran’s Persepolis face Qatari side Al Sadd in the West Asian semi. — AFP