Sports / Soccer

Guangzhou Evergrande holds Gamba at bay to reach ACL final

(Xinhua) Updated: 2015-10-22 09:30

Guangzhou Evergrande holds Gamba at bay to reach ACL final

Huang Bowen (16, in yellow) of China's Guangzhou Evergrande heads the ball during the AFC Champions League semi-final match between Japan's Gamba Osaka and Guangzhou Evergrande in Osaka, Japan, Oct. 21, 2015. [Photo/Xinhua]

OSAKA -- Guangzhou Evergrande tied with Gamba Osaka 0-0 in the second leg of the Asian Champions League semifinals on Wednesday to earn a ticket to the ACL finals with an aggregate 2-1 win.

The Chinese club team kept offensive and made many attacking attempts in the first half. However, Gamba Osaka was prudent and its keeper made several saves to keep a clean sheet for his side.

In the second half, Gamba Osaka went all out to attack, hoping to overturn a 2-1 deficit following an away defeat in Guangzhou three weeks ago. However, the Japanese side failed to break the deadlock despite its dominating performance in the last 20 minutes.

"We had four or five absolute opportunities to score in the game, but we didn't grasp them, and the shootings missed," said Luiz Felipe Scolari, coach of Guangzhou Evergrande, at a news conference after the match.

"Gamba Osaka is a good team, and perhaps the most powerful opponent I've met," he added.

Guangzhou Evergrande will meet in the ACL finals Al Ahli of the United Arab Emirates.

But the more recent challenge for Scolari's team will be a high-profile clash between the Chinese Super League leaders with Shandong Luneng four days later.

"We're glad to get to the ACL final. What I want to do now is to have a good dinner and some good wine. But after that, we will focus on preparing for the game with Shandong Luneng," said Scolari.

About 6,000 Evergrande fans travelled to Osaka Expo'70 Stadium to cheer for their team.

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