AAP Soccer

Japan’s Kashima win Asian Champions League

By AAP Newswire

Kashima Antlers have claimed their maiden AFC Champions League title after a goalless draw in the second leg of the final against Persepolis secured a 2-0 aggregate victory.

The Antlers wrapped up the championship and earned a berth at next month's FIFA Club World Cup with the 0-0 result at the Azadi Stadium against the Iranian champions.

Separated from male supporters, hundreds of Iranian women watched as J-League side Kashima won the continental title for the first time.

Women have been mainly prohibited from attending men's games and other sports events in Iran since the 1979 Islamic revolution.

"Today is a historic and festive day for football, a real breakthrough," FIFA President Gianni Infantino said.

"I was delighted to personally witness that, for the first time in 40 years, Iranian female football fans were allowed to attend an official match again.

"The fact that over 1,000 women could cheer their favorite team and that this took place during Asian football's most important game of the season ... makes this occasion even more special."

Persepolis were unable to recover from a 2-0 defeat in Japan a week earlier.

Despite being backed by a sell-out crowd of about 100,000 fans, Persepolis struggled to create chances.

Kashima appeared content to sit back and protect their first-leg advantage with Persepolis toothless in attack.

Since the J-League's inaugural season in 1993, Kashima have been Japan's most successful club team, winning a record eight domestic titles.

Urawa Red Diamonds won last year's ACL final with Kashima making it back-to-back successes for Japanese clubs.