F·Marinos aim for immortality in AFC Champions League final second leg

F·Marinos aim for immortality in AFC Champions League final second leg

Yokohama F·Marinos have won just about every title on offer other than the AFC Champions League and they have a chance to add it to the trophy case on Saturday when the Tricolor take a 2-1 lead to the United Arab Emirates for the second leg of the tournament final against Al Ain.

The Tricolor did their job in the first leg, winning in Yokohama. The goals by Asahi Uenaka and Kota Watanabe put them in a position where a draw in the second leg will make them the champions of Asia, but that still leaves a lot of work to do.

Al Ain have proven to be one of the most dangerous attacking sides on the entire continent - and while Marinos adequately kept star forward Soufiane Rahimi in check in Yokohama, doing it away will be a whole other challenge.

All eyes will be on goalkeeper William Popp, who played excellently in both the semi-final and first leg of the final for F·Marinos, but who will certainly be hoping to be called upon less for heroics in the UAE.

Al Ain will likewise have to contend with frontline firepower, though. Yokohama boast the likes of Anderson Lopes and Yan Matheus in attack and have demonstrated throughout the competition that they can turn a game on its head on a moment's notice.

Getting it done in the UAE at what will be a raucous Hazza bin Zayed Stadium will be the Tricolor's toughest challenge yet, but they have managed to pass every previous test under almost every possible scenario.

They’ve taken big wins at home and away, made epic comebacks and held leads against all odds, played with 10 men, and survived both extra-time and penalty kicks.

Now, one final test remains to see if F·Marinos can do what they've never done before and bring Asia's crown back to Yokohama.