‘Fatal mistakes cost us 1-3,’ says coach Cho Sung-hwan, ‘We couldn’t overcome variables’

A fatal mistake proved costly. Incheon suffered a stunning defeat away to Shandong.

Incheon United suffered a 1-3 defeat to Shandong Taishan in their 2023-24 Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Champions League (ACL) Group G match at the Jinan Olympic Sports Center Stadium in Jinan, Shandong, China at 7 p.m. on Sunday. Incheon overcame Yokohama and Kaya in consecutive games, but fell short against Shandong in the second leg.

Looking for a win against Shandong, Incheon deployed a 3-4-3 formation. In addition to Mugosa, Kim Bo-seob, Park Seung-ho, Min Kyung-hyun, Kim Do-hyuk, Mpoku, Jung Dong-yoon, Oh Ban-seok, Kim Kwon-jin, Kim Yeon-yeon, and Kim Dong-heon started. Choi Kang-hee used a 4-2-3-1 formation with Marouane Fellaini up front.

Shandong opened the scoring. In the first minute, Li Yuanyi attempted a surprise shot, but goalkeeper Kim Dong-heon was quick to react. From then on, Incheon took the initiative. In the seventh minute, Kim Bo-seop moved from the flank to the center and took a shot, but it was blocked.

Incheon went on the offensive. In the 31st minute, Kim Yeon-soo got a header on a free kick from Mpoku, but it went wide. In the 39th minute, Park Seung-ho took a shot from long range after receiving a pass from Mpoku, but it went over the crossbar.

Both teams made substitutions at the start of the second half. Shandong brought on Liu Binbin, Li Hailong and Kraijang, while Incheon brought on Hernandez for Mugosa. Incheon had the first chance. In the third minute of the second half, Park Seung-ho crossed a ball from the right flank, which Kim Bo-seop spilled and Min Kyung-hyun wrapped it up nonstop, but it went just wide.

Incheon took the lead. In the ninth minute of the second half, a cross from the side was headed in by Kim Dong-heon, but it was lost in the crowd, and Lee Wien-yi calmly finished it. Incheon fought back. In the 11th minute of the second half, Kim Bo-seop caught a ball from the side and sent a sensible pass to Hernandez, who tried to shoot but hit the post. Jung Dong-yoon then had another shot, but it went wide of the goal. 아톰카지노 도메인

Incheon made a substitution. In the 16th minute of the second half, Kim Bo-seop was taken off and Hong Si-hoo was brought on, but it proved to be a fatal mistake. In the 20th minute, center back Lee Kwon-jin missed a critical backpass, leading to an own goal. Incheon then brought on Kim Min-seok in the 30th minute, but conceded one more goal. In the 31st minute, Hong Si-hoo committed a foul in the box and was awarded a penalty kick, which Kraijang neatly finished.

Incheon pulled one back. In the second half of stoppage time, Kim Do-hyuk made up for it with a sensational shot over the goalkeeper. However, no more goals were scored, and the game ended in a loss for Incheon.

After the game, head coach Cho Sung-hwan said, “Football is a sport of mistakes, but it was a big mistake. We worked hard with the players to prepare for this, but we couldn’t overcome various situations and variables. I talked to the players before the game about rewarding the fans who traveled from far away with a victory, but I feel responsible as a coach because we didn’t get the result.” He hung his head in shame.

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