Traditional powerhouses Jeonbuk Hyundai and Pohang Steelers sang a victory chorus in the first leg of their Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Champions League (ACL) group stage match.
Jeonbuk Hyundai, the nine-time K League 1 champions, defeated last season’s Hong Kong champions Kitsch SC, while Pohang toppled last season’s Vietnamese champions Hanoi FC.
Jeonbuk won the first leg of their 2023-2024 ACL Group F match against Kitchee at Jeonju World Cup Stadium on Tuesday, 2-1, with Han Gyo-won scoring the winning goal in the 16th minute of stoppage time after the game was tied 1-1.
Jeonbuk capitalized on a set piece opportunity just six minutes after kickoff.
Jun Amano sent a free kick from the left midfield into the box, and central defender Hong Jeong-ho, who was involved in the attack, rose up and redirected the header to give Jeonbuk the lead.
With the score at 1-0, Jeonbuk was rattled by a Kitsch counterattack early in the second half in the pouring rain.
After a super save from goalkeeper Jung Min-ki on a right-footed shot by Ozeni Onazi in the fifth minute of the second half, Jeonbuk finally found the equalizer in the 11th minute of the second half off an overhead kick from Kitsch’s Michael.
Mikael’s overhead kick from near the left endline of the goal area curved into the Jeonbuk goal.
However, Jeonbuk did not go down easily, and in the 16th minute of the second half, Han Gyo-won scored again to turn the game around.
After Jun Amano’s left-footed shot from the penalty spot deflected off a defender, Han picked up the ball on the right side of the penalty area and slotted the ball into the left corner of the Kitsch goal with an exquisite right-footed shot.
Han’s goal proved to be the game-winner, and Jeonbuk held on for a one-goal victory without further scoring.
At the Midine National Stadium in Hanoi, Vietnam, Pohang won their ACL Group J first leg against Hanoi 4-2 behind an assisted hat-trick from Zeca and a multi-goal performance from Kim In-sung.
Pohang got off to a shaky start.
In the 13th minute, Hanoi’s Nguyen Van Quiet’s shot was blocked by Park Chan-yong in a physical defense on the goal line, and three minutes later, Pham Tuan Hai’s sharp header was barely saved by goalkeeper Hwang In-jae.
Having weathered the storm, Pohang began a ‘storm goal feast’, scoring three goals in nine minutes from the 30th minute.
Zeca’s own goal in the 30th minute, which came after a header contest by Hanoi defender Damien Le Talek, was followed by Yoon Min-ho in the 34th minute and Kim In-sung in the 39th minute from the right side of the penalty area.
Both Yoon Min-ho and Kim In-sung were assisted by Zeca.
After ending the first half 3-0, Pohang scored again four minutes into the second half.
Zeca drove to the front of the penalty area and released a pass for Kim In-sung to finish with a left-footed shot from the right side of the penalty area. Zeca earned a hat trick of assists and Kim a multi-goal game.
Pohang conceded two goals to Hanoi’s Joel Tagueu in the eighth minute of the second half and the 42nd minute of the second half, but held on for the win without conceding any more. 안전놀이터