THE long road to the final of the Asian Cup Winners' Cup reached a dead end for South China here on a dry and dusty evening. Trailing 4-2 from the first leg at the Hong Kong Stadium on March 19, South China needed to score at least three times if they were to have any chance of winning the fourth edition of the Asian Cup Winners' Cup. But they opted for a face-saving mission and a damage limitation exercise rather than a ''Desert Storm'' all-out attack and got what they came for - a respectable defeat in the Al Raka Stadium. The home side had to wait until the 64th minute to open the scoring with a penalty from Saleh Al-Qanbar, who had been brought down by South China's goalkeeper, Werner Kooistra, after beating the offside trap down the left wing. The Syrian referee, Fayez Al-Bitar, was very lenient on the big Dutchman, showing him only the yellow card when he must have expected to see the red card for what was clearly a professional foul. Al-Qanbar picked himself up from his heavy tumble and drilled the ball into the bottom right-hand corner of Kooistra's goal to put the Saudis on their way to victory. With South China looking forward to the final whistle, Kooistra was beaten for the second time in the 87th minute. Midfielder Arif Bourshaid chipped the ball into the penalty box from the right and right-back Gazi Asairi surprised two defenders by climbing well to loop his header over the 'keeper and into the net. A 2-0 win on the night gave Al-Qadisiyah a 6-2 victory overall and the players and officials received their trophies from the son of King Fahd, Prince Muhammad, Governor of the Eastern Province on the coast of the Arabian gulf. South China set their stall out to defend their pride rather than attempt to recover the first-leg deficit. Al-Qadisiyah's attacking 4-3-3 formation kept the visitors on the defensive and isolated South China's lone front-runner, Anto Grabo. Surrounded by three defenders whenever he received the ball, Grabo was unable to bring his midfielders into the game when they attempted to push forward. Consequently, South China failed to create any clear-cut chances during the 90 minutes. The closest they came to scoring was from two long-range efforts from midfielder Chiu Chung-man in the first half. A well-struck shot on the run almost caught out Al-Qadisiyah 'keeper Fahad Al Shami, who was relieved to see the ball roll for a corner, and two minutes before half-time Chiu's powerful, curling free-kick from out on the left wing almost sailed into the top corner. At full stretch, Al Shami acrobatically tipped the ball over the bar for another corner. But that was about all South China had to offer going forward, apart from a couple of well-timed runs from their teenage midfielder, Cheung Sai-ho, which brought Al Shami bravely and briskly off his line. Defensively, South China were much better organised than in the first leg, with Kooistra commanding in goal, Marcel Liesdek a class act in front of him and the two man-markers in midfield, Shum Kwok-pui and Au Young Ying-tsz, giving little room to the Brazilian Jose Carlos and the Ghanaian Shamo Quaye respectively. But it was all too little too late for the Caroliners. The final five calamitous minutes of the first leg, when South China conceded two goals and had their skipper, Ku Kam-fai, sent off, were when this final was won and lost. And the road which began at Mongkok Stadium and took South China into the mainland's football capital of Liaoning province and to Calcutta ended here in predictable defeat, knowing they had much more to offer than the Saudis had seen. Al-Qadisiyah (4-3-3): Fahad Al Shami; Gazi Asairi, Abdulla Al-Dosari, Khalil J. Ahmed, Ali Al-Amri; Shamo Quaye, Arif Bourshaid, Bandar Al-Khaldi; Saleh Al-Qanbar (Barnabas Imanger, 68), Jose Carlos, Abdulla Al-Mahashir (Abdulrahman Bourshaid, 76). South China (4-5-1): Werner Kooistra; Wan Ho-yin, Marcel Liesdek, Chan Ping-on, Gurung Bikas; Au Wai-lun, Shum Kwok-pui, Chiu Chung-man, Au Young Ying-tsz, Cheung Sai-ho (Loh Wai-chi, 73); Anto Grabo. Man of the Match: Abdulla Al-Dosari (Al-Qadisiyah).