Ulsan Hyundai head coach Hong Myung-bo (54) remained calm after the ‘Hyundai Derby’ defeat.
Ulsan lost 0-2 against Jeonbuk in the 16th round of the ‘Hana One Q K League 1 2023’ at Jeonju World Cup Stadium on the 3rd.메이저놀이터
Ulsan bowed to Jeonbuk’s mercenary skills in the 110th edition of the ‘Hyundai Street Derby’. Second-half substitutes Cho Kyu-sung and Moon Sun-min scored back-to-back goals in the 38th minute and stoppage time, respectively, to break down Ulsan.
Although Ulsan lost the head-to-head against their rivals, they are still strong favourites to win the title as they remain top of the league (12 wins, 2 draws, 2 losses – 38 points).
However, their recent winning streak has come to a halt as they tasted defeat for the first time in 10 games since a 1-2 loss to Daejeon in the seventh round of the league in April.
“It’s been a long time since we’ve played (Jeonbuk) and there was a difference in performance, but football is a sport where you have to score goals to win, so I think we have to accept the result,” Hong said at a press conference after the match.
Ulsan welcomed Jeonbuk home in February and came from behind to win 2-1 in the first ‘Hyundai Street Derby’ of the season and the opening game of the K League, but the second meeting was the exact opposite.
Hong encouraged his players, saying, “They’re doing well enough now, so how much more can you ask for a result.”
When asked what he would say to his players after the game, Hong laughed and said, “You have to think about it as you go.”
“It’s a rivalry match, but it’s just one game in the season. I don’t think we’ll talk about the defeat,” he said.
“I always say it, but the result is always the coach’s responsibility, and if the players don’t give their best, I can criticise them, but they gave their best today,” he said, insisting that the defeat was not theirs but mine.
On the possibility that the loss to Jeonbuk could be a crisis for the season, he said, “I think we need to wait and see. It’s unfortunate for the fans that we lost to our rivals, and it’s important to get results, but it’s also important to continue the process, and the players didn’t waver in the process.”
“The players have to accept the result, but in terms of the content, we plan to keep going in the direction we want to go,” Hong said.
After tasting their first defeat in a long time against Jeonbuk, Ulsan will look to bounce back when they travel to Suwon to face Suwon FC in the 17th round of the league on 6 June.
Photo by Kwon Dong-hwan, Jeonju World Cup Stadium, Courtesy of the Korea Football Association