Kim Bokyung opened the scoring on 18 minutes for the Asian champions, before Lee Jongho grabbed the second shortly before the half-hour mark in his final game for the Jeonju-based side.
Things went from bad to worse for Masandawana when Ricardo Nascimento turned the ball into his own net on 41 minutes, seeing the South African side trailing by three goals going into the break. The CAF Champions League winners pulled one back three minutes into the second half, however, when Percy Tau found the top corner with a lovely left-footed strike, before Kim Shinwook notched Jeonbuk’s fourth on 89 minutes.
In the first match contested between clubs from Korea Republic and South Africa, it was Sundowns’ Samuel Mabunda who enjoyed the first chance on eight minutes. The South African midfielder shrugged off two Jeonbuk defenders, but his shot from the edge of the box went straight at goalkeeper Hong Jungnam.
Masandawana enjoyed the lion’s share of possession early on but it was Jeonbuk who took the lead on 18 minutes. Park Wonjae’s low cross from the left was tipped by goalkeeper Denis Onyango into the path of Kim Bokyung, who slotted the ball into the top corner from close range to bag his second of the tournament.
Jeonbuk, with a spring in their step, continued to look dangerous going forward. Go Mooyeol charged through on goal on 28 minutes after being played in by a smart flick by Lee, but Onyango did well to deny the midfielder. The Korea Republic side’s relentless pressure saw them extend their lead through Lee moments later, though.
Kim Bokyung – known as the ‘Left-footed Maestro’ at Jeonbuk – looked to be shooting at goal from a free-kick, but played a smart ball into the danger zone. The ball was switched to Go on the left who found Lee in the centre of the area and the forward scored on his Green Warriors swan song, after it was confirmed earlier in the day that he was joining Ulsan Hyundai along with team-mates Kim Changsoo and Choi Kyubaek.
The AFC Champions League winners extended their lead further on 41 minutes when Jang Yunho’s low cross was turned into the net by Sundowns’ Brazilian defender Nascimento.
Trailing 3-0 going into the break, Sundowns reduced the deficit three minutes into the second half when Tau latched onto the end of a long ball before curling a lovely left-footed effort into the top corner. Sundowns continued to display positive movement going forward and Tebogo Langerman went close shortly before the hour-mark, his shot from the edge of the area being held by Hong.
Substitute Leonardo forced Sundowns shot-stopper Onyango into an acrobatic save on 70 minutes, tipping the Brazilian’s threatening effort over the woodwork. At the other end, Keagan Dolly come agonisingly close to finding an unmarked Tau in plenty of space at the far post, but the pacey midfielder was unable to get a touch to the ball.
Kim then grabbed the fourth for to seal the deal on 89 minutes, with the towering frontman – sporting a fluorescent mohawk in Jeonbuk’s green club colours – heading home from a corner.
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