Incheon’s first ACL loss to Shandong in Choi Kang-hee’s first game with the club
Professional soccer club Incheon United has suffered its first Asian Champions League (ACL) defeat of the season at the hands of Chinese Super League giants Shandong Taishan, coached by Choi Kang-hee.
Incheon fell 0-2 in their 2023-2024 ACL Group G match against Shandong on Friday at the Incheon Football Stadium. Incheon, which is competing in the ACL for the first time since its inception, won its first two group games but suffered its first loss in the third match. Incheon’s loss leaves Group G with Incheon, Shandong and Yokohama F Marinos (Japan) tied at 2-1, setting the stage for a fierce competition in the remaining three group games.
The matchup between the two teams is highly anticipated as Shandong’s head coach, Choi Kang-hee, will be playing in South Korea for the first time in a long time. Choi was the head coach of Jeonbuk Hyundai from 2005 to 2018, leading the club to the top 온라인카지노 of the K League. He left for the Chinese Super League in 2019, where he coached Tianjin Quanjian, Dalian Yifang, and Shanghai Shenhua before being named Shandong’s head coach in May. Since arriving in Shandong, Choi has rebuilt the squad and gotten the team back on track. Shandong is currently cruising in second place in the Super League.
Choi’s opponent, Incheon head coach Cho Sung-hwan, has worked with Choi before, when he was the head coach of Jeonbuk in 2012. Given their familiarity with each other, a fierce battle is expected.
Incheon was without key players such as Delbridge, Lee Myung-joo, and Shin Shin-ho due to injuries. As a result, they had to focus on defense and play counterattacking football to find space in the opponent’s back line.
Incheon sent shivers down Shandong’s spine several times in the first three minutes, as Kim Yeon-soo’s header was saved by the opposing goalkeeper and Moon Ji-hwan’s header hit the post a minute later.
However, the team was unable to find the back of the net despite many chances. After a 0-0 first half, Incheon surrendered the lead in the 13th minute of the second half. Shandong’s foreign striker Krijang picked up the ball at the front of the penalty area 안전놀이터 and unleashed a right-footed shot that beat Hoesim and found the corner of the Incheon goal. Incheon continued to push forward, but eventually conceded a late 43rd minute winner to Shandong’s signature goalkeeper Marouane Fellaini.
Meanwhile, in Group F, Jeonbuk Hyundai defeated Ryan City (Singapore) 3-0 at home in their third group game. Jeonbuk finished second in the group with six points (2W-1D).