The K League clubs’ quest for Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Champions League (ACL) domination came to a screeching halt in the fourth round, the most crucial stage on the way to the tournament. After posting a respectable 4-3-1 record in the first three rounds, the K League’s pride was completely destroyed in the fourth round with a 1-3-3 record.
A total of four K League teams are competing in the Asian Champions League this season. Starting with last year’s defending K League champions Ulsan Hyundai, there are FA Cup champions Jeonbuk Hyundai, Pohang Steelers, who finished third in the league, and Incheon United, who finished fourth in the league and will be competing in Asia for the first time in the club’s history.
Ulsan relives nightmare, Incheon falls apart in second half
Reigning K League champions Ulsan Hyundai and Incheon United, the first K League teams to make it to the third round, had their pride shattered by back-to-back collapses. Incheon, the first team to take to the field before Ulsan, suffered their second straight defeat in the third round, conceding a whopping three goals on the road to Shandong Taishan (China), a team they had humiliated at home in the previous round.
Incheon, coached by Cho Sung-hwan, played a desperate game in the fourth leg of their Asian Champions League Group G clash at the Jinan Olympic Sports Center Stadium in Shandong, China, at 7:00 p.m., but a combination of bad luck in goal and defensive mistakes led to their downfall. Incheon, who dominated the early stages of the first half, had a couple of shots on target from Jung Dong-yoon and Park Seung-ho but came up empty. Incheon, who managed to keep Shandong’s attack relatively well, had a chance to take the lead at the start of the second half, but Min Kyung-hyun’s shot went narrowly wide. 무지개토토 주소
After missing the goal, Incheon almost immediately conceded. In the ninth minute of the second half, a lapse in defensive concentration in a chaotic situation in the box allowed Shandong’s Li Yuanyi to take the lead with a right-footed shot, and Incheon was unlucky to see Hernandez’s shot hit the post shortly after the goal. Incheon missed another chance in the second half when Lee Kwon-jin’s backpass went straight into the goal, and in the 30th minute, substitute Hong Si-hoo conceded a penalty kick. After conceding back-to-back goals, Incheon scored in the last minute of the match through a fantastic lobbing shot by Kim Do-hyuk, but it was too little too late and they had to accept a disappointing 3-1 result.
Incheon, who had shown promise in the second round with back-to-back wins over Yokohama (Japan) and Caya (Philippines), suffered back-to-back losses to Shandong in the third and fourth rounds, dropping from second place in the group to third place and diminishing their chances of advancing to the knockout rounds. Around the same time as the news of Incheon’s disappointing loss, defending K League champions Ulsan Hyundai, who were traveling to Malaysia, also fell to defeat.