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Kashima Antlers Hold Off Persepolis to Win AFC Champions League

Kashima Antlers Hold Off Persepolis to Win AFC Champions League Kashima Antlers Hold Off Persepolis to Win AFC Champions League

Kashima Antlers clinched the 2018 AFC Champions League title after a resolute performance saw them hold Persepolis FC 0-0 in the second leg of the final at Tehran's Azadi Stadium on Saturday, with the Japanese side winning 2-0 on aggregate.
The odds were against Persepolis that lost the away-match 2-0 to the Antlers in the 1st leg. 
Having claimed a 2-0 win on home soil a week earlier, Kashima entered the return encounter with a hand already on the trophy.
However, they were up against a Persepolis that had not suffered a home defeat in the Champions League since May 2012. 
The boisterous home crowd set a new tournament attendance record by comfortably bettering the previous highest tally of 63,763 set in the 2014 decider between Al Hilal and Western Sydney Wanderers.
Surprisingly, the visitors opted against sitting back and defended their lead from the opening whistle and showed good initiative going forward in the early exchanges. 

 

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