The first half was dominated by the Koreans, who took advantage of América’s defensive confusion to open the scoring in the 23rd minute. Won-Jae Park played a good diagonal cut-back to Kim Bo-Kyung, whose left-footed shot beat Moisés Muñoz to make it 1-0.
Kim Bo-Kyung proved repeatedly dangerous throughout the half, with defender Bruno Valdéz – returning from a long injury layoff – showing some rust.
But América got to halftime behind by just one goal, and Ricardo La Volpe made two halftime substitutions as he looked to get the Águilas back into the game.
It didn’t take too long for them to find an equalizer, with Silvio Romero heading a cross home in the 58th minute to make it 1-1.
After the goal, América gained confidence going forward and they soon began to test the goalkeeper in earnest. Then, in the 74th minute, Romero put the Águilas ahead as he connected with a corner kick. His shot took enough of a deflection to wrong-foot the goalkeeper, who could only watch as América took the 1-2 lead.
CONCACAF teams have never finished higher than third in the Club World Cup, and América will now look to change history with a win in Thursday’s semifinal.
With the 1-2 win, América advances to the semifinals to face Real Madrid (ESP), while Jeonbuk will head to the fifth-place match against Mamelodi Sundowns (RSA).
Jeonbuk: Jeong-Nam Hong, Shin Hyung-Min, Chul-soon Choi, Jong-Eun Lim, Lee Jae-Sung, Kim Bo-Kyung, Hyuk Jung (Leonardo 66′), Won-jae Park, Kim Chang-Soo (Mu-Yeol Ko 77′), Kim Shin-Wook, Edu (Lee Dong-Gook 76′).
América: Moisés Muñoz, Paolo Goltz, Pablo Aguilar, Edson Álvarez (Michael Arroyo 45′), Miguel Ángel Samudio, Bruno Valdez, William, Oribe Peralta, Osvaldo Martínez (José Daniel Guerrero 45′), Silvio Romero, Carlos Darwin Quintero (Ventura Alvarado 70′).