Kashima Antlers have been crowned 2018 Asian champions after defeating Iranian giants Persepolis 2-0 over two legs in the past fortnight.
J-League side Kashima had their Brazilians to thank. Leo Silva and Serginho scored the two goals that sealed the trophy, both at home, a week ago.
Kashima backed up their efforts on the road, keeping a clean sheet in a 0-0 draw at the packed-out Azadi Stadium in Tehran on Saturday.
Antlers seemed content to sit back and absorb pressure with their lead in front of 100,000 Persepolis fans, and eventually saw off the hosts despite conceding the lions’ share of possession.
The victory means Kashima will participate in the 2018 Club World Cup, which will be held in the UAE across 10 days from 12 December.
This final was somewhat iconic too, but not for the football. Some 850 women were allowed into the stadium for the match.
Every journey starts with a first step. https://t.co/aFdq08qY7T
— Paul Williams (@PaulWilliams_85) November 10, 2018