The stage is set for the AFC Champions League final following the Kashima Antlers' wild 6-5 aggregate win over the Suwon Bluewings in the two-legged semifinals, which concluded on Wednesday night at Suwon World Cup Stadium.

Kashima spent 102 of the series' 180 minutes in a losing position on aggregate or tiebreakers. In both games it came down to late goals — first Atsuto Uchida's heroic effort in the 93rd minute of the first leg, then Serginho's priceless goal in the 82nd minute of the second leg.

Now after eight J. League titles, six J. League Cups, five Emperor's Cups, six Super Cups, two Suruga Bank Championships, and the 2003 A3 Champions Cup, Kashima can complete its trophy cabinet with the continental title that has eluded the J. League co-founder for 20 years.