Jeonbuk defeats Ryan City, while Incheon suffers first ACL loss to Choi Kang-hee’s Shandong

Ahn Hong-seok Choi Song-ah = Pro Football Jeonbuk Hyundai improved its chances of qualifying for the round of 16 of the 2023-2024 Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Champions League (ACL) after defeating Singapore’s Ryan City.

Jeonbuk rode a brace from flankers Lee Dong-joon and Moon Sun-min to a 3-0 victory over Ryan City in the third leg of their Group F match at Jeonju World Cup Stadium on Friday.

With the win, Jeonbuk, who won 2-1 against Kitchee (Hong Kong) and lost 2-3 against Bangkok United (Thailand) in the first leg, finished second in the group with two wins and one loss, level on points with Bangkok United (six) but one point off the winner’s bracket.

The East Asian group stage sees 20 clubs competing in five groups, with the five best-placed teams from each group and the three best-placed second-placed teams advancing to the round of 16.

For Jeonbuk, the victory was as good as it got, as Lee Dong-joon, who has been hampered by a string of injuries this season, came up big on the day, assisting on a wedge goal and setting up an own goal for the opposition.

Jeonbuk opened the scoring in the fifth minute with a stunning left-footed curling shot from Jun Amano.

Ahn Hyun-beom slipped a pass to the right side of the penalty area and Amano unleashed an incisive left-footed shot that slipped through three defenders and into the bottom left corner of the goal.

Jeonbuk, who continued to harass the Ryan City defense from the flanks with Lee Dong-joon on the right and Moon Sun-min on the left, added another goal in the 33rd minute through an own goal.

Lee Dong-joon sent in a low cross from the right side that Ryan City defender Lionel Tan headed into the back of the net.

Jeonbuk’s third goal also came from Lee’s toes.

In the 12th minute of the second half, Lee Dong-joon’s cross from the right was cleared by the goalkeeper and fell to the feet of Moon Sun-min, who wasted no time in finishing with his left foot to make it 3-0.

In the third match of Group G at the Incheon Football Stadium, home side Incheon United suffered their first defeat of the tournament, falling 0-3 to Shandong Taishan (China), led by Choi Kang-hee.

Incheon, who are playing in the ACL for the first time in their 20-year history, were unable to build on the momentum of their 4-2 win over Yokohama Marinos (Japan) on March 19 and 4-0 victory over Kaya (Philippines) on March 3, as they suffered their first defeat to move to 2-1-1 with six points.

Shandong, coached by Choi Kang-hee, formerly of Jeonbuk, secured their second win of the group stage to also move to 2-1-1 with six points, while Yokohama, who defeated Kaya 3-0 on the same day, also moved to six points, leaving Group G in a dead heat.

Based on the head-to-head record of the three teams with the same number of points, Shandong moved to the top of the standings, followed by Incheon in second and Yokohama in third. Kaya dropped to last place (0 points) with their third straight loss.

Incheon failed to capitalize on back-to-back good chances in the opening three minutes of the match, with Kim Yeon-soo’s header from Mpoku’s left flank free kick being blocked by goalkeeper Wang Darei, and then Moon Ji-hwan’s header from Mpoku’s right corner kick hitting the post.

Shandong tried to take advantage of their height by sending Belgian international Marouane Fellaini (194 cm), who has played for Manchester United (England), up front, but it was fruitless in the first half.

Incheon introduced Kim Do-hyuk in the seventh minute of the second half in place of Moon Ji-hwan, who received a first-half red card, and Shandong struck first in the 10th minute of the second half, when the bench battles began in earnest with the introduction of 190-centimeter Brazilian striker Crijang.

In the 13th minute of the second half, the Brazilians shared the lead when Krijgang’s right-footed shot from the penalty arc went in off a pass from Moises.

In the 23rd minute of the second half, Incheon added to their injury woes as defender Kim Yeon-soo complained of muscle soreness, so they replaced Kim with Min Kyung-hyun and Mugosa with Chun Sung-hoon in search of an equalizer.

However, Incheon was unable to find the back of the net, and Fellaini’s 42nd-minute goal drove a wedge into Shandong’s favor. 파워볼분석

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