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"The appropriate pressure was good."

Ulsan Hyundai, which won its first two consecutive K-League 1 titles since its foundation, brought the rival Pohang Steelers, the winner of the FA Cup, home to win a thrilling 3-2 comeback. Ulsan won 3-2 in the third round of the final of the "Hana One Q K League 1 2023" against Pohang at Ulsan World Cup Stadium on the 12th with relay goals from Seol Young-woo, Ataru, and Joo Min-kyu.

This season's East Coast Derby also ended with Ulsan's solo stage. Ulsan had two wins and two draws in four matches against Pohang this season. After two wins and one draw in 2021, they ended their rivalry game undefeated in two years.

Ulsan coach Hong Myung-bo said, "It's fierce, and I'm happy to get a victory against Pohang at the end of the season. He lost points first in the first half, but gave the players faith that he would score in the second half. The players made a good second half. Overall, it was good in terms of performance. "We have the last home game left, and there is also the Asian Champions League (ACL), so we will prepare well for the rest of the games."

Ulsan allowed Pohang rookie Kang Hyun-je to score the first goal in the 31st minute of the first half. He turned the tide back at the start of the second half. Seol Young-woo in the first minute of the second half, Ataru in the fifth minute, and Joo Min-kyu scored consecutive goals in the 17th minute.

Coach Hong, whose former team is Pohang, recorded five wins, four draws and two losses in the "East Coast Derby" after taking the helm of Ulsan. "The team called Pohang has a very well-organized team culture. No matter who does it, we have no choice but to copy it. I know that part. If you play the season, you can lose or win. From Ulsan's point of view, losing at an important juncture remains a great regret for the fans, he said. "But I wasn't conscious because I wasn't in the situation." He analyzed the pros and cons of the game itself and informed the players. "The driving force is to lead the Derby match more calmly."

And he laughed, "It was good on the contrary because it was a game that was particularly burdensome, and it was played with appropriate pressure, regardless of the small amount."

Joo Min-kyu scored his 16th goal, matching Daejeon's Thiago. "We have to watch the rest of the game," Hong said. For now, colleagues may have to support Joo Min-kyu a lot to become the top scorer. However, Joo Min-kyu said, "I've been the top scorer, and I think winning for the first time is more meaningful."

K League 1 will enter the A match break. Ulsan can only hope to advance to the round of 16 if it wins two games in the ACL. Coach Hong said, "There are two games left in the ACL and there is a possibility. There is an away match in Thailand after the match against Incheon, and I think we need to think more about which game to prioritize. ACL is also important. I'll prepare well," he added
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Sunday, November 12, 2023

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