Ulsan Hyundai overcame a numerical disadvantage to complete the sweep.
Ulsan Hyundai won their 2023-2024 Asian Champions League (ACL) Group I match against Johor (Malaysia) 3-1 on Thursday at the Ulsan Munsu World Cup Stadium. Ulsan improved to 2-1-1 and secured a spot in the round of 16. The two teams will play the ‘return leg’ at home in Johor on November 7.
Ulsan came out with a 4-2-3-1 formation. Kim Ji-hyun started up front. Rubikson, Lee Dong-kyung, and Ataru provided support behind him. Vojanic and Kim Sung-joon were the offensive rings. The defense was led by Seol Young-woo, Im Jong-jong, Jung Seung-hyun, and Kim Tae-hwan. Cho Hyun-woo was in goal.
The keyword was clear. Hunger. Ulsan had faced Johor in the ACL group stage last year, when the four teams in each group played in one country due to COVID-19. Group I, which Ulsan was in, was played in Malaysia. Ulsan was assigned a training field with bad grass. They didn’t even get to train at the stadium where they would play. They couldn’t overcome Johor’s home field advantage and lost two games. They were also eliminated from the group stage.
“Last year, our focus was on winning the K League 1 title,” Hong said at the official press conference on Nov. 23. The ACL started early and overlapped with the league, which limited what we could do overall. This year, the ACL qualifiers are over, and the ACL main season starts early next year. For now, we are focusing on passing the qualifiers as our biggest goal.”
There was one thing that needed to be done to win. Scoring goals. Ulsan had gone scoreless in its previous four official matches, including three in the K League and one in the ACL. The hunt for points had stalled. “It’s the first time we’ve had this kind of time,” Hong said. It’s the end of the season, so I think we have to get through it. I think we need to create a comfortable atmosphere for the players. Even if they make mistakes, I think they need to have confidence and challenge themselves. This is a problem that can be solved through this process.”
Before kickoff, a variable occurred. Im Jong, who was scheduled to start, unexpectedly withdrew with a sprained ankle during this training. Kim Ki-hee took the field in his place.
Ulsan showed focus amidst the chaos. They had a decisive chance just four minutes into the match. Rubikson broke into the opponent’s half and created a corner kick opportunity. Vojanic’s cross was headed home by Jung Seung-hyun. Ulsan took a 1-0 lead.
Buoyed by the momentum, Ulsan immediately scored another goal. In the 12th minute of the first half. Rubikson picked up the ball after it bounced off his opponent’s body. He dribbled in alone and finished a cool mid-range shot. With momentum on his side, Rubikson exploded for another goal in the 18th minute. He received a long pass from Jung Seung-hyun and broke through the opponent’s defense. Ulsan extended its lead to 3-0.
variable occurred. It was the 24th minute of the first half. Johor’s Bersson pushed Kim Tae-hwan, grabbed the ball, and kicked it into the Ulsan warm-up area. The players who were warming up, including Bako and Uhm Won-sang, were surprised. Ulsan’s coach protested strongly. But instead, Kim Tae-hwan received a warning. Ulsan confirmed that it was an argument foul. Kim Tae-hwan received another warning in the 36th minute of the first half while defending. He eventually left the field due to accumulated cautions. Kim Tae-hwan was suspended for the next match. Ulsan ended the first half with a 3-0 lead.
At the start of the second half, both teams pulled out their substitution cards. Ulsan brought on Lee Myung-jae for Rubikson and Johor brought on Fernando Forestieri for Hong Wan. The cards paid off for Johor. In the eighth minute of the second half, Forestieri’s pass was finished by Berson.
Ulsan made another change. In the 15th minute of the second half, Uhm Won-sang came on for Lee Dong-kyung. Endrik and Feroz Baharoti came on for Johor, Juan Munis and Shane Lowry. The tense match continued. Ulsan substituted Kim Min-hyuk for Kim Sung-joon in the 25th minute. Jang Si-young also came on for Kim Ji-hyun, who had to leave due to injury. Johor also took out Matthew Davies and put in Ramadan Saifla for the match.
It was a tense match with Ulsan trying to defend and Johor trying to catch up. Ulsan kept their composure. In fact, they even made a surprise attack in the final minutes of the game to try to score more goals. Ulsan then substituted Cho Hyun-taek for Ataru in stoppage time to close out the match. A total of 4,183 fans came to the stadium to cheer Ulsan’s victory. 토스카지노 주소