Ulsan Hyundai head coaches Hong Myung-bo and Cho Hyun-woo have vowed revenge on the Johor Darul Taekwondo after suffering two losses last season.
Ulsan and Johor will meet in the third leg of their 2023-2024 Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Champions League (ACL) Group I clash at the Ulsan Munsu Football Stadium at 7 p.m. on Thursday. Ulsan is tied with Johor on points (3) but trails in goal difference (3 goals for Ulsan, 4 for Johor) and sits third in the group.
Ulsan were stunned by Kawasaki Frontale in their last ACL match. With the score at 0-0, they conceded in the 44th minute through Gento Tachibana to drop all three points. It was a disappointing performance for Ulsan as they were unable to continue the momentum from their 3-1 win over Pathum United.
Head coach Hong Myung-bo emphasized that there would be no mistakes. In a pre-match press conference, he said, “We are now in the third leg. We didn’t get the results we wanted last year or in the last game. This time, we’re playing at home, so we’ll try to get a good result,” he said.토토사이트
Their opponent in the third round is Zohorda. Coincidentally, they faced each other in the group stage last season. Ulsan lost both games against Johor 1-2, finishing third in the group and missing out on the round of 16.
Hong emphasized that Johor is a force to be reckoned with. “In the past, Southeast Asian soccer had good speed and technique but lacked physicality and stamina, but now they play a completely different game. If you look at the national team as well as the clubs, the physicality has improved a lot,” he said. “We need to get rid of the stereotype of Southeast Asia and be realistic about our opponents.”
The team was also keen to avenge last season’s defeat. “This year, our biggest goal is to pass the ACL group stage,” said Hong, while Cho Hyun-woo said, “We knew Johor was a team with great counterattacks and speed last year. We prepared for the game by talking to our teammates who had experienced it together, so we will play a relaxed game, harass the opponent and win in front of our home fans.”
Ulsan is still the dominant force in the K League 1 this season. However, their recent results have been mixed. In their last match against Gwangju FC, they conceded a goal in the 43rd minute through Lee Gun-hee. A win is a win, but it’s not enough.
When asked if he was disappointed with the recent goals and points, Hong said, “I think everyone is. It’s the end of the season, so I think we have to get over it,” Hong said, “but we also have to create a comfortable atmosphere for the players. Even if they make mistakes, they need to be confident and take on challenges,” he said, adding that he won’t punish his players.