Suwon Bluewings 0 Jeonbuk Motors 3 (aet, 4-2 on penalties): Quarter-final comeback ends in spot-kick pain
Jeonbuk Motors saw their incredible second-leg turnaround come up short after losing on penalties to Suwon Bluewings following a 3-3 aggregate draw in the AFC Champions League quarter-finals.
The Suwon World Cup Stadium played host to a remarkable revival from Jeonbuk, who wiped out a 3-0 first-leg deficit in pursuit of a fifth semi-final outing in the competition, but saw Adriano's stoppage-time penalty saved by the inspired Shin Hwa-yong.
Adriano had struck early on to reduce the overall margin for the visitors, whose hopes of a comeback were raised further by Choi Bo-kyung's second-half header.
The leveller arrived from substitute Kim Shin-wook, but he was one of two Jeonbuk players to fluff his lines during spot-kicks as the Bluewings progressed to the last four for the first time since 2011.
— AFC Champions League (@TheAFCCL) September 19, 2018
Jeonbuk knew they needed something special against their K. League rivals in order to keep their title dreams alive.
Adriano's close-range finish after 11 minutes hinted that it may just be possible, with Suwon suddenly looking a lot less comfortable.
The away side were even quicker out of the blocks after the interval, Choi nodding in from Lee Seung-gi's corner to make it 3-2 in the tie.
Kim headed home from Lee Yong's cross in the 71st minute and Adriano should have wrapped up a stunning triumph, only for Shin's penalty save to force what proved to be a tense and scoreless extra time.
But the tide turned once it came down to who could hold their nerve from 12 yards, with Kim's penalty repelled by the inspired Shin, who also went on to deny Lee Dong-gook.
Elvis Saric, who set up two of his side's goals in the away leg, kept his cool to convert the decisive kick and set up a meeting with Kashima Antlers.