Guangzhou Evergrande kept alive their dream of a second Asian Champions League trophy after a goalless draw with Gamba Osaka at the Expo ’70 Stadium on Wednesday helped them to reach the final stage.
A stalemate draw was enough for Luiz Felipe Scolari’s men to hold their 2-1 lead on aggregate following their victory in the first leg when hosting the J-League outfit two weeks ago.
The Chinese Super League giants produced many attacking attempts since the beginning of the game, but Gamba were prudent with their goalkeeper Masaaki Higashiguchi made several saves to keep a clean sheet for his side until the final whistle.
“This match was really hard because both teams are high quality and very good. We had many opportunities, at least four good chances to score, but we could not score,” said Scolari at a post-match conference.
“But in the end we drew so we could reach our goal to get to the final. Gamba Osaka is a good team, and perhaps the most powerful opponent I’ve met.
“We’re glad to get to the ACL final. What I want to do now is to have a good dinner and some good wine. But after that, we will focus on preparing for the game with Shandong Luneng,” the Brazilian coach added, who will look to seal a fifth consecutive domestic title against CSL rivals on Sunday.
Evergrande to take on Al Ahli in the two-legged final, with the first leg of the showpiece against the UAE side takes place on November 7, with the return scheduled for November 21.