KASHIMA, Japan (AP) — Leo Silva and Serginho scored second half goals on Saturday as Kashima Antlers beat Iran's Persepolis 2-0 in the first leg of the Asian Champions League final.
Silva opened the scoring on a left-footed shot from the top of the box in the 58th minute and Serginho doubled the advantage with an angled volley 12 minutes later.
Kashima is bidding to become the third J-League team to win the continental title following Urawa Reds (2017, 2007) and Gamba Osaka (2008).
Persepolis is aiming to become the first Iranian team to win the championship.
The second leg of the final is Nov. 10 at Azadi Stadium in Tehran.
Several hundred international delegates and guests are expected to attend, raising the possibility of cultural tensions.
Women have been mainly prohibited from attending men's games and other sports events in Iran since the 1979 Islamic revolution.
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