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Asian champions Jeonbuk take 5th place at FIFA Club World Cup

Dec. 14, 2016 - 19:26 By 이현정
The Asian club football champions Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors took fifth place at the FIFA Club World Cup after defeating South African side the Mamelodi Sundowns 4-1 on Wednesday.

Kim Bo-kyung, Lee Jong-ho and Kim Shin-wook each scored one goal to help Jeonbuk, the winners of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Champions League, beat the Sundowns at the Suita City Football Stadium in Osaka, Japan.

The FIFA Club World Cup features seven teams -- the winners of the continental club championships and the Kashima Antlers, the host country's national champions. Jeonbuk fell into the match for fifth place after they lost 2-1 to Club America of Mexico on Sunday, while the Sundowns were blanked 2-0 by Kashima the same day.

This was Jeonbuk's second appearance at the FIFA competition. In 2006, the K League Classic club also finished fifth after they beat Auckland City of New Zealand 3-0.

The Sundowns, representing the Confederation of African Football, first fired a shot in the eighth minute, only to see Samuel Mabunda's effort denied by Jeonbuk goalkeeper Hong Jung-nam.

Jeonbuk earned their first goal in the 18th. Left back Park Won-jae's cross was parried away by Sundowns goalkeeper Denis Onyango, but Kim Bo-kyung picked up the rebound and found the net with his right foot for his second goal of the tournament.

Jeonbuk's Go Moo-yeol almost doubled the lead in the 28th when he had a one-on-one with Onyango in the box. Although he failed to convert the precious opportunity, the winger delivered a fine assist to Lee Jong-ho for a 2-0 lead a minute later.

Go received a pass from Lee Jae-sung from the left side of the box and delivered a cross to Lee Jong-ho, who finished it off with his right foot. 

Lee Jong-ho, who started as lone forward up front, played his last match for Jeonbuk, which dealt him to Ulsan Hyundai FC in a five-player deal earlier in the day.

Jeonbuk easily got their third goal of the match in the 41st thanks to Ricardo Nascimento's own goal. The Brazilian defender tried to cut out Jang Yun-ho's cross, but ending up putting it into his own net instead.

The Sundowns, however, cut the deficit to 3-1 just three minutes after the second half kickoff. Percy Tau dribbled past Jeonbuk defender Lim Jong-eun, and his powerful left-footed shot beat Hong for their first goal of the competition.

Jeonbuk had their chance to add goals in the 52nd when Han Kyo-won penetrated the right flank and found Kim Bo-kyung alone in the box. The former Cardiff City player, though, had his shot blocked by a Sundowns defender.

In the 71st, Leonardo Rodrigues Pereira, who came on for Go, struck a curling right-footed shot that was tipped away by the goalkeeper.

The Sundowns, threatening Jeonbuk with speedy counterattacks, saw Keagan Dolly's left-footed strike miss the target in the 83rd and Nascimento's effort going over the net one minute later.

Jeonbuk further punished the African representatives in the 89th after second-half substitute Kim Shin-woo headed down a corner kick by Lee Jae-sung.

This was Jeonbuk's final match in 2016. They will return home later this week with US$1.5 million in prize money. (Yonhap)