Ulsan Hyundai is back in the tiger’s den after a two-game road trip.
Ulsan will host Jeju United in the 18th round of the Hana OneQ K League 2023 at 6 p.m. on Oct. 10 at Munsu Soccer Stadium. Ulsan currently sits atop the league with 13 wins, two draws, and two losses for 41 points. Against fourth-placed Jeju, they will be looking to pick up three points and widen the gap between themselves and the second-placed group.
The match against Jeju is the first of three consecutive home matches for Ulsan. After this game, Ulsan will play the FA Cup quarterfinals at home against Daegu FC on the 24th at 7:30pm and Jeju on the 28th at 7pm. The team aims to get off to a good start and continue its winning streak.
The matchup between Ulsan, who have the most firepower in K League 1 with 35 goals, and Jeju, who have conceded the fewest goals with 18, is an interesting one. Ulsan is led by In Ju-gyu. He scored the game-winning goal in the 42nd minute of the 1-1 draw against Suwon FC on March 6, using a high concentration to score from a corner kick in the opponent’s half. With the goal, Injongyu became the team’s leading scorer with nine goals and one assist.
“Honestly, I’d be lying if I said I didn’t expect it,” said Injongyu, who did not make the June A-match roster. I was excited and disappointed, but I didn’t have time to dwell on it. The fans also said they were disappointed, but I felt that I was loved a lot. I prepared myself and worked hard,” he said, adding, “I came to this team to win a lot of championships. I think the national team is a bonus. If you do your best, you can go there or not. My goal is to win as many titles as possible this year.”
It will be interesting to see if Lee In-gyu, who was with Jeju until last season, can bring some bad luck to Chinjung. He showed his respect with an oar ceremony after scoring in the first match of the season against Jeju on April 2. Ulsan has fond memories of that match, which they won 3-1 thanks to back-to-back goals from Jung Seung-hyun, In-jong-kyu, and Kang Yoon-gu.
While Inhabigyu was unable to earn a taegeuk, Cho Hyun-woo, Seol Young-woo, and Park Yong-woo were named to the roster for the upcoming trials against Peru (Aug. 16, 8 p.m., Busan Asiad Stadium) and El Salvador (Aug. 20, 8 p.m., Daejeon World Cup Stadium). This is the first call-up for the Ulsan midfielder.
In their last match against Suwon FC in Round 17, Ulsan reaped big rewards. Japanese all-around midfielder Ataru came back to life. Ataru came on for Hwang Jae-hwan in the first 20 minutes of the last match. He played between the first and second lines, linking up and sparking the offense. In total, he attempted four shots, two of which were on goal. In the 24th minute, he assisted Martin Adam’s equalizer in the box. Bako also scored his sixth goal of the day with a left-footed wedge shot. Ulsan proved to be a formidable foe for Suwon FC, scoring 18 goals in seven straight games. They also continued their ‘no losing streak’ formula after the appointment of coach Hong Myung-bo. 먹튀검증
The goalkeeping matchup is also interesting. South Korean international Cho Hyun-woo has started all 17 league games this season, conceding 19 goals. Jeju’s Kim Dong-jun has conceded the fewest with 18 goals in 17 matches. One of the highlights of this match will be the incredible saves from the animalistic goalkeeper.
Ulsan recorded two wins, one draw and one loss against Jeju last season. Ulsan leads the all-time series with 65 wins, 55 draws, and 50 losses, but Jeju has been on a roll lately, so they’ll be looking to come together as a team and get a win at home.