Urawa Reds beat Shanghai SIPG 1-0 to advance to ACL final
Oct. 18, 2017
SAITAMA, Japan (AP) — Japanese club Urawa Reds advanced to the final of the Asian Champions League by beating Shanghai SIPG 1-0 Wednesday.
Rafael Silva's header in the 11th minute allowed the Reds to advance 2-1 on aggregate after a 1-1 draw in China in the first leg last month.
"We were aware of the need to keep them from scoring," Urawa captain Yuki Abe said. "Obviously it would have been better if we had scored more goals. But we will take a 1-0 win."
Yuki Muto missed a decent chance to double Urawa's lead when he sent a header wide in the 17th minute, and goalkeeper Shusaku Nishikawa was called upon to make a key save at the other end from Hulk's free kick.
Elkeson had another opportunity to equalize 12 minutes from time but Nishikawa reacted well to deny the Brazilian midfielder and preserve the lead.
The Reds will play Al Hilal of Saudi Arabia in the two-leg final on Nov. 18 and 25.
Al Hilal advanced with a 2-2 draw against Iranian club Persepolis on Tuesday, a result that sent the Saudis through 6-2 on aggregate.
The Reds reached the final for the second time after winning the tournament in 2007. They are the first Japanese team to reach the ACL final since Gamba Osaka won it in 2008.