’72 billion jackpot’ we don’t want to miss… Hong Myung-Bo

The revamped Club World Cup is a big deal just to qualify. Ulsan HD head coach Hong Myung-bo (55) is not giving up on the chance to advance.

Ulsan HD drew 1-1 with Jeonbuk Hyundai in the first leg of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Asian Champions League (ACL) quarterfinals of the 2023-2024 season at Jeonju World Cup Stadium at 7 p.m. on Friday.

Speaking at the post-match press conference, Ulsan head coach Hong Myung-bo said, “We conceded too quickly. In the first half, the players didn’t work well together. We played much better in the second half. After the draw, we will go to the second leg.”

In the first half, Ulsan struggled with Jeonbuk’s offense. Conceding an early goal to Song Mingyu (24) just four minutes into the match was a big blow. Ulsan struggled to break through Jeonbuk’s tight defense. Mistakes were frequent in the Ulsan midfield. “There’s no particular reason why we used domestic players,” said coach Hong Myung-bo, “We made a lot of mistakes in the first half. The opponent is a strong team. I expected them to come out strong, but what we talked about before the game didn’t go well. I think our confidence was low.”

It wasn’t until the second half that Ulsan found their rhythm. They brought on Martin Adam (30), a physically imposing foreign striker, to push the offense forward. Ulsan, who were deep in defeat, equalized in the 32nd minute through Lee Myung-jae (31).

The Club World Cup will expand in 2025. A total of 32 teams will compete and AFC has been awarded four Club World Cup berths. According to European media, the total prize pool is worth €150 million. The participation fee alone is worth 50 million euros (about 72 billion won). Jeonbuk finished the day in second place overall with 80 points, while Ulsan remained in third place with 72 points. Al Hilal (Saudi Arabia) tops the standings, while defending ACL champions Urawa Reds (Japan) have already clinched a spot.

Ulsan is in a relatively unfavorable position to qualify for the Club World Cup. “We talked about it in the last press conference,” said Hong Myung-bo. It’s a big 토토사이트 motivation. We have one game left, and we will focus on it. It’s a difficult position, but we will do our best until the end.”

Ulsan will meet Jeonbuk three times in March. They will face them in the second leg of the Asian Champions League on March 12 and in a K League 1 match on March 30. Comparing this season’s Jeonbuk to last season’s, Hong Myung-bo said, “They have a lot of good players in the attacking line. Our firepower has improved. Other than that, I think we’re pretty similar,” he analyzed.

As for today’s performance, the coach was somewhat subdued. “We didn’t do anything particularly well. We made a lot of mistakes, but it’s not easy to play a big game so soon after the opening day. The 1-1 draw will be a great boost for our preparation for the next match.”


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