Goalkeeper Shin Hwa-yong was the hero in Wednesday night’s AFC Champions League quarter-final second leg, saving 3 penalty kicks against Jeonbuk Motors, to book Suwon Bluewings a place in the semi-finals.
Suwon’s progress looked to be a formality as they entered this stage leading 3-0 following a stunning win from the first leg, three weeks ago.
After dominating the early exchanges, 2006 and 2016 winners went ahead in the 11th minute when Adriano scored from close range from Dejan Damjanovic’s cross.
Jeonbuk Motors scored again 6 minutes after half-time with Choi Bo-kyung’s glancing header from a poorly defended corner, before South Korea international Kim Shin-wook came on to level the aggregate scores at 3-3 with a powerful header into the top corner with 20 minutes remaining.
The deadlock remained throughout the 30 minutes of extra time and went to a penalty shootout in which Shin saved Kim Shin-wook and Lee Dong-gook attempts before Elvis Saric rolled in the decisive penalty to seal the shoot-out 4-2.
“Jeonbuk is a really strong team, and we expected ahead of the match that we’d be put on the defensive for much of the game,” said Shin.
“But even though it was a really tough match, it turned out that luck was on our side.”
And this is what the Tsing Tsao man of the match had to say about the penalty shoot-out.
“Usually, we study the opposition’s penalty takers and their techniques,” he explained.
“The trend these days, though, is they prefer to change up their style so they aren’t predictable. They tend to look at the goalkeeper first, and then choose where to put the ball.
“So for me, it is better to delay my choice where to go and react as best as I can to them.”
“I am man of the match tonight, but we all fought together as a team and that’s the reason we could reach the semi-finals. ”