World Football - Ahli beat Ittihad to make Asian Champions League final

A late goal by Brazilian Victor Simoes sent Al Ahli through to their first Asian Champions League final as they overcame Saudi Arabian rivals Al Ittihad 2-0 on Wednesday for a 2-1 aggregate victory.

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World Football - Ahli beat Ittihad to make Asian Champions League final
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Al Ahli (Saudi Arabia) forward Victor Simoes

The striker was quickest to react to a long ball over the top to steer an 84th minute left-foot shot across Al Ittihad goalkeeper Mabrouk Zaid in to the far corner and spark scenes of immense joy at the Prince Abdullah Al Faisal Stadium in Jeddah.

Al Ahli will travel to South Korea to take on Ulsan Hyundai in the final on Nov. 10 after the K-League side beat Uzbek champions Bunyodkor 5-1 on aggregate earlier on Wednesday to reach the final for the first time.

Trailing 1-0 from the first leg, played at the same stadium, the onus was on Al Ahli to attack the twice champions and they dominated the opening half of the second leg.

Victor came close to levelling the tie in the seventh minute of the Jeddah derby when his rasping left-foot shot from an

acute angle cannoned back off the frame of the goal.

Midfielder Moataz Al Musa then saw a neat header pushed behind in the 32nd minute before the powerful international made no mistake two minutes before half-time with another aerial chance.

Al Musa was in the right place to convert a close range header from an inswinging corner as Al Ahli claimed the goal they deserved.

The second half was littered with time-wasting and poor play as Al Ittihad showing more attacking intent but still with a safety first approach.

Both sides were guilty of reckless challenges as the match became splintered and set for extra time before Victor stepped up to score his seventh and most crucial goal of the tournament.

As Al Musa was being replaced after collecting what appeared to be a calf injury, Al Ittihad appeared to switch off as they failed to deal with a long ball over the top and Victor pounced.

The goal sprang Al Ittihad into action as they pressed for a reply that would send them through to a fourth final in the closing stages but Mohammed Noor prodded a late chance over the bar in stoppage time.

The final whistle led to a few scuffles on the pitch with security rushing in as fans entered the field and Al Ittihad players protested before being dragged away.

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