Ulsan HD FC celebrates after defeating Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors in the quarterfinals at the Asian Football Confederation Champions League at Munsu Football Stadium in Ulsan, Tuesday. Courtesy of Korea Professional Football League.

Ulsan HD FC knocked off their South Korean rivals Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors to advance to the semifinals of the top Asian club tournament Tuesday. Defender Seol Young-woo’s late first-half goal helped Ulsan to a 1-0 victory in the second leg of the quarterfinals at the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Champions League at Munsu Football Stadium in Ulsan, some 300 kilometers southeast of Seoul. Ulsan advanced to the last four with a 2-1 win on aggregate, after playing Jeonbuk to a 1-1 draw in the opening leg last week. In the semifinals, Ulsan will play either Yokohama F. Marinos of Japan or Shandong Taishan of China. Yokohama won the first leg of their quarterfinals match last Wednesday 2-1, and their return leg is scheduled for Wednesday in Yokohama. The semifinals will be played in two legs, on April 17 and 24.”After having the draw in the away match last week, this match at home played out the way we wanted,” Seol said. “I don’t score all that often, and so I am happy to have scored one tonight.” Looking ahead to the semifinals, Seol said, “We’ll continue to prepare the way we always do. Regardless of our opponents, we will try to play the best we can.” Ulsan previously won AFC Champions League titles in 2012 and 2020.

Ulsan broke the ice just before the end of the first half. After securing the ball outside the left edge of the box, Gustav Ludwigson crossed for wide-open Seol on the right side of the six-yard box. Seol volleyed the ball home before it touched the ground and found the top left corner .While celebrating the goal, Seol had his right shoulder pop out, but he stayed in the match. Jeonbuk kept pressing for the equalizer that never came, with Ulsan goalkeeper Jo Hyeon-woo making some big saves along the way. In the 83rd minute, Marcus Vinicius made a pass that deflected off referee Alireza Faghani and found its way to Lee Dong-jun, who slotted the ball home, only to have the goal called back. The two clubs are also vying for a spot in the expanded FIFA Club World Cup next year. The AFC will have four spots available at the 32-team tournament. Continental champions from 2021 to 2024 will qualify, and the 2021 and 2022 winners of the AFC Champions League, Al Hilal of Saudi Arabia and Urawa Red Diamonds of Japan, have secured their places. A match victory and progress to each stage of the AFC tournament are each worth three points, and a draw is good for one point .Jeonbuk would have qualified by beating Ulsan t reach the semifinals. Instead, they will now have to rely on their AFC club ranking position .By advancing to the semifinals with Tuesday’s win, Ulsan collected six points and improved to 78, now just two points back of Jeonbuk. Al Hilal are 슬롯게이밍 leading all AFC clubs with 109 points

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