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“Before we came here, morale was low in our squad because we had lost two domestic titles,” Ulsan coach Kim Do-hoon said. ”But after we arrived the players tried to enjoy the moment and we tried to make our own atmosphere as a team. I really appreciate everyone’s effort.”

Junior Negrao, the top scorer in the 2020 K-League season, has scored five times in the continental tournament and scored both goals in the come-from-behind win over the big-spending Kobe.

“We have the opportunity to make history for the club in Asia,” the Brazilian told the K-League’s official homepage. “We just have to enjoy it, we don’t have to put pressure on ourselves.”

If Ulsan takes the title it will be South Korea’s 12th continental crown, a record in the Champions League and its Asian Club Championship predecessor. Iran, in contrast, has not produced a champion since 1993.

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Unlike their busy opposition, Persepolis has not played in December, arriving in Doha a week early in order to prepare though the 2018 beaten finalist is missing a number of key players.

Striker Issa Alekasir, who has four goals in the tournament, was suspended by the Asian Football Confederation for six months in October after making a “discriminatory gesture” during a goal celebration in the quarter-final win against Pakhtakor of Uzbekistan. Midfielders Ehsan Pahlavan and Vahid Amiri are also out.

“Ulsan are a strong team and deserved to be in the final match. They are a disciplined team and play attacking football,” coach Yahya Golmohammadi said. “We will be without three key players in this match but we want to lift the trophy – that’s why we are here.”

AP



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