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(LEAD) Ulsan beat Urawa in 1st knockout match at AFC Champions League

Sports 23:03 June 19, 2019

(ATTN: ADDS Jeonbuk's result, photo)

SEOUL, June 19 (Yonhap) -- Super sub Hwang Il-su scored the go-ahead goal in the second half, as South Korea's Ulsan Hyundai FC defeated Urawa Red Diamonds 2-1 in the first leg of the round of 16 at the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Champions League on Wednesday.

Playing on the road at Saitama Stadium 2002 in Saitama, Japan, Ulsan took an important step toward their first AFC crown since 2012.

The second leg will be at Ulsan's home, Munsu Football Stadium in Ulsan, 400 kilometers southeast of Seoul, next Wednesday.

The aggregate score will determine the winner, with the away goals rule in effect, meaning that if the score after two matches is tied, the team with more goals scored on the road will be declared the winner.

In this photo provided by the K League, Joo Min-kyu of Ulsan Hyundai FC (2nd from L) celebrates his goal against Urawa Red Diamonds in the round of 16 match at the Asian Football Confederation Champions League at Saitama Stadium 2002 in Saitama, Japan, on June 19, 2019. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

With two away goals in the bag, Ulsan can afford to lose 1-0 next week and still reach the quarterfinals. A draw by any score will also send Ulsan through to the next stage.

The other South Korean club in action, Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors, had a 1-1 draw against Shanghai SIPG in Shanghai later Wednesday.

In Saitama, Urawa opened the scoring in the 37th minute, as Kenyu Sugimoto headed in a cross by Takuya Aoki. Aoki took a nifty touch pass from Shinzo Koroki outside the box and sent it toward the center for Sugimoto, whose header beat diving goalkeeper Oh Seung-hoon to the bottom left corner.

Urawa dominated the run of play for most of the first half, but Ulsan equalized five minutes later, also with a header. Lee Keun-ho dribbled deep into the attacking zone on the left wing and crossed one for Joo Min-kyu, who soared over two defenders and headed it past Shusaku Nishikawa to make it 1-1.

It was Ulsan's first shot on target in the match and a precious away goal.

Hwang Il-su came off the bench to replace Joo in the 65th minute, and Hwang put Ulsan ahead for good 15 minutes later, when his right-footed shot from outside the box found the bottom left corner.

Urawa had 18 shot attempts and put five on target, while Ulsan attempted nine shots and had three on target.

In this Xinhua photo, Lee Yong of Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors (R) battles Oscar of Shanghai SIPG for the ball during their round of 16 match in the Asian Football Confederation Champions League at Shanghai Stadium in Shanghai on June 19, 2019. (Yonhap)

In Shanghai, Moon Seon-min put Jeonbuk on the board about 50 seconds into the match. Lim Seon-yeong floated a cross deep into the left side of the box, and Moon's left-footed volley beat Yan Junling. Defender Wei Zhen tried desperately to clear the ball out of the net, but it had already crossed the goal line by the time he made contact.

Shanghai pulled even in the 39th minute on Wang Shenchao's header. Yu Hai intercepted a back pass by Bernie Ibini-Isei on the left wing and crossed it for Wang, who was left untouched as he headed it home past Song Beom-keun.

Hulk hit the right goal post for Shanghai during injury time in the first half, and neither side found the back of the net in the second half.

Jeonbuk will host Shanghai next Wednesday at Jeonju World Cup Stadium in Jeonju, 240 kilometers south of Seoul. Jeonbuk can advance to the quarterfinals with a scoreless draw next week, thanks to the away goal scored in the first leg.

jeeho@yna.co.kr
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