Kashima reaches Asian Champions League final for 1st time

Japanese Kashima Antlers' Koki Anzai, right, fights for the ball against South Korean Suwon Samsung Bluewings' Jo Sung-jin during the second-leg semifinal of the Asian Champions League at Suwon World Cup Stadium in Suwon, South Korea, Wednesday, Oct. 24, 2018. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)
Japanese Kashima Antlers' Shuto Yamamoto, second from right, celebrates with his teammates after scoring the first goal against South Korean Suwon Samsung Bluewings during the second-leg semifinal of the Asian Champions League at Suwon World Cup Stadium in Suwon, South Korea, Wednesday, Oct. 24, 2018. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)
Japanese Kashima Antlers' Yuma Suzuki, left, is tackled by South Korean Suwon Samsung Bluewings' Jag Ho-ik during the second-leg semifinal of the Asian Champions League at Suwon World Cup Stadium in Suwon, South Korea, Wednesday, Oct. 24, 2018. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)

SUWON, South Korea — Serginho scored a late equalizer Wednesday to send Kashima Antlers to the Asian Champions League final for the first time.

The Brazilian midfielder put a right-footed shot from the center of the box into the top right corner in the 82nd minute to give the Japanese team a 3-3 draw with South Korean club Suwon Bluewings and a 6-5 victory on aggregate.

Kashima will face Iranian club Persepolis in the final. The first leg will take place in Kashima on Nov. 3, with the second leg in Tehran seven days later.

Eight-time Japanese champion Kashima took the lead at Suwon World Cup Stadium when Shuto Yamamoto scored in the 25th minute. But the hosts put in three goals in a nine-minute span in the second half to move ahead 3-1.

Daigo Nishi then gave Kashima hope with a goal in the 64th before Serginho scored the decider.

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