Ulsan, which played 10 players, also won 3-1 against Johor

Pohang ACL 3rd consecutive win, ‘Breaking Urawa in Japan’, head coach Kim Ki-dong said, “Korea-Japan match, there’s something I care about”… Ulsan, which played 10 players, also won 3-1 against Johor

Pohang, led by head coach Kim Ki-dong, beat Urawa Reds (Japan) 2-0 in the third Group J match of the 2023-2024 Asian Football Confederation Champions League (ACL) at Saitama Stadium in Japan. With the victory, Pohang continued its lead in the group with three consecutive wins (9 points). It is the first time in 13 years that Pohang has won three consecutive ACLs since 2010.

Foreign players Oberdan and Wandelsson were missing, but Pohang was strong. Even though it was an away game, it was overwhelming. Pohang overwhelmed 16 to 9 from the total number of shots on the day, and also lost seven effective shots. On the other hand, Urawa failed to record a single effective shot.

Pohang’s first goal came in the 22nd minute of the first half. Pohang midfielder Jung Jae-hee instantly dug into the penalty box and put his foot toward the cross. It shook the net past the opposing goalkeeper.

Pohang, which continued the atmosphere, even scored an additional goal in the fourth minute of the second half. This time, a quick counterattack worked properly. Kim In-sung, who broke through the right side, handed over a good pass, and Ko Young-joon, who was behind him, showed an accurate finish to end it.

Urawa, who lost the game on the day, had one win, one draw and one loss (four points). It is located in second place in the group. In the ACL group stage, the three teams with good performance among the first place in each group and the second place in each group will advance to the round of 16.

After the game, head coach Kim Ki-dong said in an official press conference, “Our style is very similar to ours. “While playing my own practice game, I thought about how to make Urawa’s tactical form not good and where the loopholes would be,” he said. “We prepared for a short pass, tightening the central defense and preparing for a counterattack. I thought that if I use Kim In-sung’s speed to counterattack, my opponent would be very embarrassed. “I think we attacked well when the opponent gave space by raising a lot of side backs,” he said.

In addition, head coach Kim Ki-dong said, “I don’t think much about the national competition, but since the club competition is also a match between Korea and Japan, there are things I care about more than other games,” but added, “I can’t say who’s better because Japan and Korea’s soccer styles are different. A Korean player has what a Japanese player does not have, and a Japanese player has what a Korean player does not have. “I think it’s important how to make up for the strengths and the weaknesses.”
Pohang’s Kim In-sung said, “After this match, important matches continue in Korea. “I think I won this game and gained the strength to make it easier for me to play important games in Korea in the future,” he said.

Meanwhile, K League 1 champion Ulsan Hyundai also succeeded in reversing the mood by beating Johor Darul Takzim of Malaysia 3-1 in the third Group I match of ACL at Ulsan Munsu Stadium. Ulsan beat Pathum United (Thailand) 3-1 in the first game, but lost 0-1 in the second game against Kawasaki Frontale (Japan). However, he added a victory on the day and recorded two wins and one loss (six points) to move up to second place in the group.
Ulsan, which has been mired in a lackluster four-game winless streak, is all the more welcoming to this victory. He also escaped from a scoreless four games.

Ulsan hit a goal storm from the beginning. Following key center back Jung Seung-hyun’s first goal in the fifth minute of the first half, foreign striker Rubikson scored multiple goals in the 12th and 18th minutes of the first half. Ulsan, which ran away 3-0 early, focused on maintaining its lead by managing the game leisurely.

There was a crisis. In the 36th minute of the first half, Ulsan veteran Kim Tae-hwan was sent off for accumulating warnings. He allowed a chasing goal in the eighth minute of the second half. However, Ulsan didn’t lose concentration and kept the lead until the end to earn three points.


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