By Hyun Min Lee = Ulsan Hyundai defeated BG Pathum United (Thailand) at the Tiger’s Den.
A hat-trick from Hungary international striker Martin Adam gave Ulsan a 3-1 victory in the first leg of their 2023/2024 Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Champions League (ACL) Group I clash with Pathum at Munsu Football Stadium at 7 p.m. on Monday.
Ulsan, who had recently gone three league games without a win (two draws, one loss), turned things around in their Asian campaign.
On the day, Ulsan dominated possession from the start. In the 27th minute, Lee Dong-kyung’s cross was headed home by Adam for the first goal of the match. However, the defense began to falter and conceded a goal in the 40th minute to Singaporean striker Stewart. Much like the first half, the second half saw the team struggle to break through a back-heavy defense. In the 17th minute of the second half, Rubikson, Ataru, and Kim Min-hyuk all pulled out their cards at the same time to try and find a way through. It worked. In the 27th minute, Ataru’s cross was finished in the box by Adam, and in the 32nd minute, Adam rattled the net with another cross from Bako. The team played out the remaining minutes to secure the victory.
Speaking at the post-match press conference, head coach Hong Myung-bo said, “It was my first game with the ACL. It was a very important game in the process of getting ready for the league. It was a great achievement to turn the tide with a victory,” he said, adding, “We knew the opponent would play like that (defend first and then counterattack), and we were prepared for it. The goal we conceded wasn’t as good as the ones we’ve seen in the league. Fortunately, we stabilized in the second half.”
In the 17th minute of the second half, with the score tied at 1-1, Hong Myung-bo pulled out the cards of Rubikson, Ataru, and Kim Min-hyuk. “The players who played in the league match against Daejeon Hana Citizen (1-1) were in good shape, but when you play two matches in a row, there are problems with recovery, so we played players who hadn’t played before. “We played technical players to break down the settled defense,” he said. “We paid a lot of attention to side-to-side transitions. We were constantly trying to use the half-space to be aggressive. We had one or two good shots, which led to a goal. It was a good game for us to see the overall condition of the players.”소닉카지노
He praised Adam for his hat trick. “I told the players to utilize Adam’s physical strengths,” said Hong. In the first half, it was difficult because they were strong. In the second half, they lost their strength and we had space and chances. He did a good job in a difficult situation.”