Professional soccer’s K League 1 Pohang Steelers defeated Urawa Reds (Japan) to book their place in the tournament early.
Pohang came from behind to win 2-1 against Urawa Reds in their 2023-2024 Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Champions League (ACL) Group J match at the Pohang Steel Yard at 7 p.m. on Aug. 8.
The hosts went behind in the 36th minute to Jose Kante. However, Zeke converted a penalty in the 21st minute of the second half to level the score.
Pohang capitalized on their numerical advantage in the 26th minute of the second half. Takahiro Akimoto made a dangerous tackle on Ko Young-joon, which prompted the referee to show a red card through VAR.
Pohang then struggled to find the equalizer, and in the 49th minute, Kim In-sung scored the winning goal. With that, Pohang secured three points at home and completed a four-game sweep of the group stage.
The win boosted Pohang’s chances of advancing to the round of 16, but it was not immediately clear immediately after the match.
In the ACL East Asia, the top three teams from each of the five first-place groups and the top five second-place teams from each group advance to the Round of 16, meaning that no team is guaranteed a spot in the knockout rounds until it has finished first in its group.
The next match between Hanoi FC (Vietnam) and Wuhan Shanzhen (China) could have ended in a draw, or Hanoi could have won.
The result was in Pohang’s favor. Hanoi came from behind to win at home.
Wuhan Shandong took the lead through He Chao’s goal in the 10th minute of the first half, but conceded a late equalizer through Pham Thuan Hai in the 26th minute. To make matters worse for Wuhan, Wei Shihao was sent off in the 29th minute.
With the numerical advantage, Hanoi launched a series of attacks, culminating in a dramatic comeback goal in the 45th minute to record their first win of the tournament.
With the win, Pohang clinched first place in the group and an early berth in the round of 16, regardless of the outcome of the rest of the schedule.
Meanwhile, at the same time, K League 1 side Jeonbuk Hyundai dropped a 0-2 decision in their 2023-2024 ACL Group F match against Ryan at the Jalan Besar Stadium in Singapore.
With two wins and two losses (6 points), Jeonbuk remains in second place, unable to close the gap on first-place Bangkok United (10 points), who drew 1-1 with Kitchee earlier in the day.
Jeonbuk struggled against Ryan. While Jeonbuk lacked organization, Ryan was able to translate what they had prepared on the field.
Ryan also scored the first goal. Ryan set up Richario Zirkovic in the 23rd minute. A ball from behind found Zirkovic inside the penalty box, and he calmly finished to break the deadlock.
The second half wasn’t much different. Ryan struck again. Ten minutes into the second half, Zirkovic once again showed his precision in the box, and the 카지노 gap between the two teams grew to two goals.
In the 42nd minute, Jeonbuk was awarded a penalty kick after a foul inside the opponent’s penalty box. The referee checked the VAR (Video Assistant Referee) and pointed to the penalty spot.
However, Gustavo, who stepped up to take the kick, was unable to make up for it, and Jeonbuk lost away from home without scoring.