Incheon head coach Cho Sung-hwan vowed to win the match against Shandong head coach Choi Kang-hee. Choi vowed to take on Shandong coach Choi Kang-hee with a challenging attitude.
Incheon will host China’s Shandong in their 2023/24 Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Champions League (ACL) Group G third leg at the Incheon Football Stadium at 7 p.m. on Nov. 25.
Incheon, who qualified for the Asian stage for the first time this year, won their first ACL match away to Yokohama 4-2, thanks to an own goal, a brace from Gerso and a multi-goal performance from Hernandez. In the second match, Incheon scored two unanswered goals at home against Kaya FC (Philippines) to secure a 4-0 victory and move to the top of Group G. The team’s second consecutive victory in the tournament.
A home win over Shandong, who beat Kaya but lost to Yokohama, would move them closer to the round of 16. The ACL features a 40-team group stage divided into 10 groups. The top 10 teams from each group and the top six teams from the second place in each group will advance to the round of 16.
Incheon’s recent form has been good. With four wins and three draws in their last seven official matches, they haven’t lost since September 2 against Pohang. However, the squad has had some injury problems. Delbridge and Shin Shin-ho are out for the season with injuries and will miss the remaining ACL games, including the one against Shandong.
At the pre-match press conference on the 24th, one day before the game, head coach Cho Sung-hwan said, “I think tomorrow’s game will be a watershed moment as we won the first two games. It is important to get a result to pass the group stage, but due to the team’s situation, we need to have no injuries, so we will do our best to produce a good result based on good game management in a game where many fans have come to see us.”
“I think it’s an important game for Shandong and our team to advance to the round of 16, so we will prepare well and make sure we win tomorrow’s game,” said Kim Jun-yup, who was also present alongside coach Cho Sung-hwan.
On the issue of injuries and the ratio between K League and ACL, Cho said, “I’m not worried about having a lot of injuries, but I’m worried about not having more injuries, and I’m worried about how to play the players who replaced the injured players and what to do tactically. Tomorrow’s game is also an important game, so we talked internally about putting everything into tomorrow’s game and then thinking about the Gwangju game on the weekend.”
Incheon are in good spirits after starting the group stage with two wins, despite this being their first appearance in the ACL. 스포츠토토
“We had a tough time in the first half of the league, but I think we proved to our fans that we can rebound,” Cho said, adding, “We gained confidence from that and prepared well for each game and each position, and I think the results of the Yokohama game and the second game were made. If we continue to work hard in our respective positions, analyze and do our best, I think we will have good results.”