Ulsan Hyundai laughed in their first revenge match in a year against Johor Darul Takzim (Malaysia). Pohang has won three games in a row, increasing its chances of advancing to the round of 16.
Ulsan, led by coach Hong Myung-bo, won 3-1 in the third home game of Group I of the 2023-24 Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Champions League (ACL) group stage against Johor held at Ulsan Munsu Stadium on the 24th.
With the win on this day, Ulsan recorded 2 wins and 1 loss in 3 ACL games, placing 2nd in the group after Kawasaki Frontale (Japan), which won 3 games in a row.
In addition, Ulsan, who had recently fallen into a swamp of 4 official matches without a win (2 draws, 2 losses), succeeded in turning the situation around with a win against Johor. Above all, it is good news that they escaped a scoreless streak of four games.
A refreshing revenge was achieved against Johor. Ulsan suffered two losses to Johor in the ACL group stage last year and failed to advance to the tournament. At the time, due to the aftermath of COVID-19, Ulsan’s group played in Malaysia, and Johor was territorial, providing Ulsan with a training ground with poor grass. For the first time in a year, I washed away the sadness of that day in my living room.
Ulsan used a 4-2-3-1 formation against Johor. Ji-hyeon Kim was at the forefront, and Ataru, Dong-kyung Lee, and Rubikson were in the second line. Kim Seong-jun and Boyanic were paired as defensive midfielders. The back four line was composed of Seol Young-woo, Lim Jong-eun, Jeong Seung-hyun, and Kim Tae-hwan, and the goalkeeper gloves were worn by Jo Hyun-woo.
Ulsan scored 5 minutes into the game. Rubikson took the corner kicker and raised the ball, and Jeong Seung-hyeon, who was running backwards, kicked the ball and gave Ulsan the lead.
A goal feast took place. Rubiksson, who assisted the first goal, served as the solution in the 12th minute of the first half. Lee Dong-kyung’s forward pass hit the opposing defender and fell in front of Rubikson, who was rushing forward. Rubikson opened the Johor goal with a calm shot in a 1-on-1 chance with the goalkeeper.
Just six minutes after the second goal, another goal was scored, and the protagonist was Rubiksson. The long pass that center back Jeong Seung-hyun passed to Rubikson, who was running from the back to the left side, was accurately dispatched. After receiving the ball, Rubiksson slowly entered the penalty box, completely bypassed one defender, and then struck the goal net with a calm inside shot.
Early on, it seemed like the 3-point lead was in favor of Ulsan, but in the 36th minute of the first half, Kim Tae-hwan was sent off for accumulating warnings, putting them at a numerical disadvantage. At the start of the second half, Ulsan strengthened the backline by replacing Rubikson and inserting Lee Myung-jae.
In the 8th minute of the second half of the second half, Johor Bergson opened the Ulsan goal with a right-footed shot. It seemed like the chase had begun, but it ended there.
On the same day, Pohang defeated last year’s ‘ACL champion’ Urawa Reds (Japan) 2-0 in the third game of Group J of the ACL group stage held at Saitama Stadium 2002 in Saitama Prefecture, Japan. Pohang, with three consecutive wins in the group stage, maintained first place in the group.
Pohang, which had a large number of injuries, used the 4-2-3-1 formation that day. Jeka was placed at the forefront, and the second line was entrusted to Kim Seung-dae, Ko Young-jun, and Jeong Jae-hee. Chan-hee Han and Jong-woo Kim were paired in the third line. The defense was formed by Park Seung-wook, Park Chan-yong, Ha Chang-rae, and Shin Gwang-hoon, and the goal was guarded by Hwang In-jae.
Pohang, who had been unable to create any offensive opportunities, opened the scoring for Urawa in the 22nd minute of the first half. Kim Seung-dae dropped the ball exquisitely into the penalty box from the left side, and Jeong Jae-hee, who was rushing, jumped and kicked it with his right foot.
Jeong Jae-hee, the protagonist of the first goal, complained of pain in his right thigh in the 27th minute of the first half, and Kim In-seong stepped on the pitch instead. There were no additional goals scored in the first half.
Four minutes after the second half kickoff whistle sounded, Pohang scored one more goal. In a counterattack situation, Kim In-seong ran quickly down the right flank and fired a low cross. At this time, Jeka, who was rushing, sensibly let the ball go, and Ko Young-jun, who was coming into the penalty box, comfortably pushed it inside with his left foot.
After the game, Pohang coach Kim Ki-dong said, “I was very worried about injuries to both the league and ACL. There was also talk of injuries at the pre-press conference. Nevertheless, in today’s game, they showed a good performance as a good team. However, it was disappointing that there was a lack of decision-making power in a situation where more could have been added. “We will continue to play well together with the players in both the league and ACL,” he said.굿모닝토토 도메인
Although it was a match between club teams, it was a ‘Korea-Japan match’. Director Kim Ki-dong did not attach much importance to it. He said, “I don’t think much about national competition. However, since the club competition is also a Korea-Japan match, there are some things to worry about more than other matches. Because the soccer styles of Japan and Korea are different, it is impossible to say who is better. “Korean players have what Japanese players do not have, and Japanese players have what Korean players do not, so I think it is important to figure out how to take advantage of their strengths and complement their weaknesses,” he said.
Kim In-seong, who came on as a substitute and contributed to the victory, said, “We always had difficult games in Japan, but I am happy that we were able to get a good result today.” He added, “After this game, there will be more important games in Korea.” “By winning today’s game, I think we have gained the strength to make future important games in Korea easier,” he said, expecting a positive effect.