Choi Kang-hee and Choi Sung-hwan, who played together at Jeonbuk, had the last laugh in a tactical battle.
Incheon United fell to a 0-2 defeat at the hands of Shandong Taishan (China) in the third match of Group G of the 2023-24 Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Champions League on Friday at the Incheon Football Stadium.
Incheon had topped the group with six points after defeating Yokohama (Japan) in the first leg and Caya (Philippines) 4-2 and 4-0 in the second leg, respectively.
Shandong’s second win of the tournament tied them with Incheon on points. Incheon remained atop the group on goal difference.
The game was also a “battle of the priests” between Choi and Choi. Choi assisted Choi as a coach when he was leading Jeonbuk.
Incheon went into the match with a less-than-complete squad after losing key players to injury, including midfielders Lee Myung-joo and Shin Shin-ho and defender Delbridge. They started with Gerso and Mugosa up front, with Hernandez, Jung Dong-yoon, and Mpoku in the second line of fast and active players.
Shandong faced Incheon with Manuel Fellaini up front in the midfield. Instead of staying up front, Fellaini dropped down to the midfield to help distribute the ball.
Encouraged by the passionate support of the home team’s fans, Incheon pushed their line up high and took the initiative.
Incheon pushed Shandong hard right from the start. In the third minute of the first half, Kim Yeon-soo’s header from a free kick opportunity was narrowly saved by Shandong goalkeeper Wang Darei. The next scoring chance came less than two minutes later. Moon Ji-hwan’s header from a corner kick hit the post.
Shandong had the misfortune of having to make a substitution early on. In the 11th minute, midfielder Zhang Jian went down with an injury, prompting coach Choi Kang-hee to bring on Liao Risheng as a substitute.
Shandong fought back. On a free-kick opportunity in the 25th minute, Jerso collected the ball from behind and struck it home with his right foot.
Incheon continued to threaten Shandong as Gerso’s explosive dribbling runs paid off, but he was unable to finish inside the penalty box and the first half ended 0-0.
In the seventh minute of the second half, coach Cho Sung-hwan showed his intention to go ahead by removing defensive midfielder Moon Ji-hwan, who had a red card, and introducing Kim Do-hyuk, who has speed and breakthrough ability. Shandong coach Choi Kang-hee also brought on striker Krajan, who scored 25 goals last season. 메이저사이트
Choi laughed at this mercenary move. Shandong broke the 0-0 tie in the 13th minute of the second half. Near the penalty arc, Krazan curled a ball with his right foot that traveled a great trajectory and found the top corner of the net.
Incheon fought back immediately. In the 17th minute, a cross from the left flank found Mugosa. Mugosa didn’t take it, but followed up with a left-footed shot that went straight at the keeper.