Ahead of their Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Champions League (ACL) away match against Johor Darul Ta’zim (Malaysia), K League 1 champions Ulsan Hyundai head coach Hong Myung-bo has called for his players to be focused as he sees it as a watershed moment in their progression through the group stage.
“I think this match is important for us to progress to the round of 16,” Hong said at a press conference in Malaysia on 6 June. “We won against Johor at home, so I think our opponents will be well prepared. We will prepare well in the remaining time and achieve a good result.”
Ulsan will take on Johor at the Sultan Ibrahim Stadium in Johor, 안전카지노사이트 Malaysia, on 7 July at 9 p.m. (KST) in the fourth match of Group I of the 2023-2024 ACL.
Ulsan is second in Group I with two wins and one loss (6 points), behind Kawasaki Frontale (Japan – 3 wins, 9 points).
Having clinched their second consecutive league title early with a 2-0 win over Daegu FC in the 35th round of the K League 1 on 29 March, they can now focus their efforts on the ACL.
Johor, currently third in the group (3 points), will be feeling extra confident as Ulsan defeated them 3-1 in the third leg at the Munsoo Football Stadium on 24 March.
“We’ve won the title in the K League One, but we haven’t done the ceremony yet, so our players can focus on the ACL and take it seriously,” Hong said.
“It’s their home game and Johor needs a win, so I think they’ll come out aggressive. There will definitely be difficult periods, but if we can handle them wisely, we can win.”
Hong added: “We won the last game with one man sent off and we played a good game. It’s important how we focus on the game rather than focusing on the number of players, whether it’s one or 11,” said Hong, adding, “Tomorrow, we will try to predict and prepare for our opponent in an equalised situation.”
Ulsan also met Johor in the ACL group stages last year, with the team coming away from the tournament with bad memories of a cluster of matches in the group due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Ulsan suffered from “home-field disadvantage,” being assigned a training ground with poor grass and not being able to train at the stadium where the games would be played, and were eventually eliminated with two losses to Johor alone.
“We are fully aware of the stadium atmosphere and the players have the experience to cope with it,” Hong said, adding that last year’s experience will offset a lot of the negative effects.
Striker Kim Ji-hyun, who was not with the team last year due to his military service, was confident, saying, “I heard that the road to Johor was difficult and the atmosphere of the stadium and fans made it very difficult for us, but I think we overcame all these things with the win in the last game.”
“We are now in an environment where we can focus on the ACL, so we are preparing accordingly. We are facing Johor for the second time in a row, and we will prepare ourselves to play in the best possible condition.” 카지노사이트