“We’re missing Wandelsson, Oberdan, Grant, and Baek Sung-dong. It’s a difficult situation, but we are confident that our other players will fill the gap well in tomorrow’s game.”
Pohang Steelers (South Korea) will host Urawa Reds (Japan) at Saitama Stadium on June 24 at 7 p.m. in the third match of Group J of the 2023-24 Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Asian Champions League (ACL).
Pohang are moving forward in their quest to qualify for the tournament. After a 4-2 win away to Hanoi, they secured back-to-back wins with a 3-1 victory over Wuhan Sanjin. The Urawa Reds drew 2-2 with Wuhan Shanjian before recording a 6-0 victory over Hanoi to pick up a point. The Group J standings at the end of the second leg are Pohang (6 points), Urawa Reds (4 points), Wuhan Sanjeon (1 point) and Hanoi (0 points).
A day before the match, a pre-match press conference was held. Coach Kim Ki-dong said, “We are not at 100% strength right now. At the beginning of the season, our younger players did a good job filling in the injury gaps, but now we are missing Wandelsson, Oberdan, Grant, and Baek Sung-dong. It’s a difficult situation, but I’m sure the other players will be able to fill the gap tomorrow.”
Ko Young-jun, who represented the squad, said, “We traveled to Japan for the ACL while there were already many K League games. This is also a Korea-Japan match, so we want to get a good result against the Japanese team,” he said.
Q. What are your thoughts before the game?
A. Coach Kim Ki-dong: “When we joined the ACL, we said that the first game was important. We got off to a good start in our first game two weeks ago. Now, every game is important. I think tomorrow’s game will be a watershed moment for us to reach the round of 16. We’ve been preparing well, so I believe we can get a good result.”
A. Ko Young-jun: “We traveled to Japan for the ACL while there were already many K League matches. This game is also a Korea-Japan game, so we want to get a good result against the Japanese team.”
Q. Coach Urawa named Ko Young-jun as a player who impressed him.
A. Ko Young-joon: “It’s really nice to be mentioned by the opposing coach. I will prepare well for tomorrow’s game and hopefully get a good result.”
Q. Is there anything Urawa should be wary of against Pohang?
A. Kim Ki-dong: “Tactically speaking, yes. Coach Urawa spoke highly of Ko Young-joon, so we have to be careful with him.”
Q. Are there any players from Urawa that you are paying attention to?
A. Kim Ki-dong: “When I watched the video, I thought they had a similar feel to us as a whole, a team that moves in an organized way.”
A. Ko: “I’m curious about defender Hiroke Sakai, and I think he’s the one we need to be most wary of.” 먹튀검증
Q. Pohang is currently ranked second in the K League, but they have a lot of injuries. How do you feel about the current state of the team?
A. Kim Ki-dong: “We are not at 100% right now. At the beginning of the season, the younger players did a good job of filling in the injury gaps, but now we are missing Wandelsson, Oberdan, Grant, and Baek Sung-dong.