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By ESPN Staff
Nov 8, 2006

Chonbuk Motors crowned champs of Asia

HOMS, Syria, Nov 8 (Reuters) - South Korea's Chonbuk Motors won the Asian Champions League on Wednesday after Brazilian striker Ze Carlo's 88th minute header gave them a 3-2 aggregate victory over Syria's Al Karama.

Al Karama won the second leg of the final 2-1 but the Brazilian's late goal made the difference after the Koreans won the first leg 2-0 a week ago.

Ze Carlo rose above Al Karama's defence to convert a cross from the right and avoid extra time.

Both teams were surprise finalists in Asia's premier club competition. Chonbuk Motors are the first east Asian team to win championship and will now represent the continent at the FIFA Club World Cup in Japan in December.

Al Karama attacked from the start, missing several opportunities until striker Iyad Mando scored when he followed up on a shot by Jehad al-Hussein that bounced between the two posts.

Seven minutes later midfielder Mohanad al-Ibrahim netted from an almost impossible angle when he lobbed the ball cleverly over the Chonbuk goalkeeper into the far corner.

Although Al Karama dominated the game, Chonbuk's attack threatened sporadically with midfielder Yeom Ki-hoon missing with a header in the first half before Ze Carlo showed him how it was done to seal the tie.

Al Karama coach Mohammed Kwid said his young team's second place finish was an achievement considering their lack of resources compared with the Korean side.

'We have proven ourselves on the Asian level and look forward to becoming a true international team,' Kwid told reporters.

Goalkeeper Mosab Balhous said: 'We dominated the game and felt that we were on the way to lifting the Cup. One slip cost us the Championship, but such is football.'