Japan's Kashima wins Asian Champions League for 1st time

Japan's Kashima wins Asian Champions League for 1st time
A female Iranian spectator waves a flag of her favorite team Persepolis prior to start their soccer match with Japan's Kashima Antlers during the 2nd leg of the Asian Champions League finals at the Azadi (freedom) stadium in Tehran, Iran, Saturday, Nov. 10, 2018. Authorities allowed a select group of women into Azadi stadium to watch men's soccer match, a rare move in the Islamic theocracy. Since the 1979 Islamic Revolution women have not been allowed to watch men's soccer matches in stadiums, though they have occasionally been allowed to watch volleyball and basketball in stadiums. (AP Photo/Vahid Salemi)

Separated from male supporters, hundreds of Iranian women watched Saturday as Kashima Antlers of Japan won the Asian Champions League for the first time.

Kashima beat Iranian champion Persepolis 2-0 on aggregate after the second leg ended 0-0 in Tehran’s Azadi Stadium on Saturday.

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

Persepolis was unable to recover from its 2-0 defeat in Japan a week earlier. Despite being backed by a sellout crowd of around 100,000 fans, Persepolis struggled to create chances.

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

Since the J-League’s inaugural season in 1993, Kashima Antlers has been by far Japan’s most successful club team, winning a record eight domestic titles.

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