K-League saved face thanks to Jeonbuk

1-0 win over Yokohama in the ACL group stage, 1st place
The previous day, the three Southeast Asian teams were wounded by the pride of defeat.

▲ Jeonbuk Hyundai Manager Kim Sang-sik (left) and Kim Jin-soo hold a press conference after winning 1-0 in the ACL group stage match against Yokohama.
Provided by Jeonbuk Hyundai

Jeonbuk Hyundai, a professional soccer team that is challenging to win the Asian Football League Champions League (ACL) for the third time in their career, saved the face of the K-League, which had collapsed overnight.

Jeonbuk won 1-0 with Ilyuchenko’s penalty goal in the 2022 ACL Group H Group H match against Yokohama Marinos (Japan), which ended on the 20th (Korean time) at Thong Nhat Stadium in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. The previous day, Ulsan Hyundai, Daegu FC, and Jeonnam Dragons all lost to Southeast Asian pro teams such as Johor (Malaysia), Lion City (Singapore) and Patum (Thailand), respectively, hurting the pride of the K League, the best professional soccer league in Asia.

Jeonbuk, which drew 0-0 with Sydney FC (Australia) without a goal in the first match, won that day and took the top spot in Group H with 1 win and 1 draw (4 points). As a result, Jeonbuk became the only team to win the second leg among the four K-League teams competing in the group stage.

Jeonbuk, who participated in this tournament as the K-League 1 champion last season, is challenging for the third ACL champion following 2006 and 2016.

Jeonbuk won the game with a penalty kick in the 31st minute of the first half. Jinsoo Kim stumbled and got a penalty kick while driving the ball into the penalty area, and Ilyuchenko’s strong right-footed shot from the kicker hit the opposing goalkeeper’s hand and was sucked into the goal.

Yokohama tried to counterattack, but Jeonbuk did not allow it. Jeonbuk were aiming for an extra goal in the second half, but they had to be content with keeping the winning goal.

Jeonbuk coach Kim Sang-sik said, “I am happy to win a meaningful match. I would like to thank the fans for their hard work even at a late hour in Korea, and I would like to express my gratitude to the players who did their best until the end. Now that we are ranked first in the group, we will maintain good condition in the remaining matches and pass the group stage,” he said.

Now, Jeonbuk will play two matches against Hoang Ain (Vietnam, 1 point), 4th in the group. The 3rd game will be held at 8 pm on the 22nd, and the 4th game will be held at the Tongnat Stadium on the 25th at 11 pm.

Reporter Jang Hyung-woo

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