One win, one draw, and three losses in Ulsan Hyundai’s last five games before the curtain went up on the Hyundai Derby. With the ‘absolute first place’ in the balance, K League 1 was also on a clockwork system.
It was a guillotine match. It was a cliffhanger moment for Ulsan, who could fall deeper if they lost to rivals Jeonbuk Hyundai. Ulsan head coach Hong Myung-bo chose to make a change. He rarely changes the mold. But in the match against Jeonbuk, he did. He brought out a ‘Plan B’. It was a modified back four.
Rubikson was the key. He changed his position to wingback. Rubixson formed a back five with Sousse, Seol Young-woo, Jeong Seung-hyun, Kim Ki-hee, and Lee Myung-jae. In transition, he played as a winger. Jeonbuk head coach Dan Petrescu kept the same tactics.
The ‘attacking forward’ Jeonbuk looked more colorful. Ulsan kept their claws hidden. In the end, Hong’s tactics paid off. Ulsan defeated Jeonbuk 1-0 in the 27th round of the Hana OneQ K League 1 2023 at the Ulsan World Cup Stadium on the 19th.
Hong’s mercenary tactics are also in the spotlight, as he considered using Lee Kyu-sung and Lee Cheong-yong in Lee Dong-kyung’s place. Lee Kyu-sung was supposed to stabilize and Lee Cheong-yong was supposed to attack. In the 25th minute of the second half, Lee Kyu-sung was called up first, but it was Lee Chung-yong who came out. It was time for a game-changer. Within a minute of his introduction, Lee Cheong-yong assisted Uhm Won-sang’s goal. Lee used his speed to send a through ball through the opposing defense in one fell swoop. After beating Jeonbuk’s center back Pertasek with his quick feet, Uhm Won-sang beat the goalkeeper and opened the scoring with a left-footed shot. Martin Adam’s selfless play to open up space for Lee Chung-yong also caught the eye.
Ulsan is back on track. With 19 wins, three draws and five losses, Ulsan became the first team to reach the 60-point mark. Ulsan, which won its first K League 1 title in 17 years last year, is one step closer to its first back-to-back titles since its inception. Second-place Pohang Steelers and third-place Jeonbuk are still in the 40-point range. Ulsan cleared another big hurdle by maintaining a double-digit point differential with the second-place team. In particular, the gap between them and Jeonbuk, which has been on a roll lately, 카지노사이트 has widened to 19 points.
The Hyundai Street Derby is one of the most prestigious matches in K League 1. Not only the players, but also the fans enjoy the suspense. This season, 28,039 fans attended the opening match in Ulsan (Ulsan won 2-1) and 27,797 fans attended the second match in Jeonju (Jeonbuk won 2-0). It was a warm-up. History was finally made. For the first time since the introduction of paid attendance in 2018, the number of “30,000 spectators” was reached in the provinces. A whopping 30,756 paid spectators attended the game. When Ulsan’s artillery exploded, the ‘water cannon’ that blows down the walls exploded coolly, celebrating the ‘30,000 era’.
“It’s hard to win one game,” Hong said. He also said, “It’s a ‘Plan B’ that I’ve been preparing since the All-Star break. I was thinking about when to use it, but I thought Jeonbuk was the right time. The players fully understood the tactics,” he said, adding, “I apologized to the fans for the lack of results in the past few games. Have a good week.