Iran: Team to contest Asian cup final

Tehran, 26 Oct. (AKI) - One of Iran's top football teams, Sepahan, will face Japan's Urawa Reds in November in its bid to win this year's Asian Football Confederation final.

Sepahan made it through to the final of the AFC Champions League after beating UAE rivals Al-Wahda, in a goalless draw on Wednesday.

Al-Wahda and Sepahan had previously played on 3 October resulting in a 3-1 victory for the Iranian club, which eventually gave them a 3-1 victory in aggregate.

Sepahan, based in the central Iranian city of Esfahan, will seek to become the first Asian champion from the Islamic Republic since Paas Tehran won the title in 1993.

The Iranian club will host the first match of the finals on 7 November with the second and final match to be played in Saitama, Japan a week later.

Middle eastern football clubs have won nine of the past 20 championships since 1967, without counting three titles won by Israeli teams Hapoel Tel-Aviv and Maccabi Tel-Aviv, who no longer play in the tournament.

Japanese teams have won the AFC Champions League cup three times - the last time was in 1999 when Jubilo Iwata claimed the title.

The AFC Champions League Cup draws 29 of the top Asian football clubs from more than 15 countries for a top prize of 500,000 dollars and a place in the FIFA Club World Championship.

Several Middle Eastern and Gulf countries are represented in the AFC tournament. They include Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, among others.


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