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(LEAD) 2 S. Korean clubs eye trip to quarterfinals at AFC Champions League

All News 15:05 June 24, 2019

(ATTN: ADDS details at bottom)

SEOUL, June 24 (Yonhap) -- Two South Korean clubs will look to book their tickets to the quarterfinals of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Champions League this week.

Ulsan Hyundai FC and Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors will both play the second legs of their round of 16 games at home Wednesday.

Jeonbuk will bring home Shanghai SIPG at 7 p.m. at Jeonju World Cup Stadium in Jeonju, 240 kilometers south of Seoul. These two teams played to a 1-1 draw last Wednesday in Shanghai.

In this file photo from May 29, 2019, Lee Keun-ho of Ulsan Hyundai FC (C) takes a shot against Daegu FC during a K League 1 match at Munsu Football Stadium in Ulsan, 400 kilometers southeast of Seoul. (Yonhap)

Ulsan will host Uraw Red Diamonds at 8 p.m. at Munsu Football Stadium in Ulsan, 400 kilometers southeast of Seoul. Ulsan enjoyed a 2-1 victory in Saitama, Japan, a week ago.

The aggregate score will determine which team will advance to the quarterfinals, 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.

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

Ulsan haven't made it to the final eight at the AFC Champions League since winning the competition in 2012. They have won all three home matches at this year's tournament without conceding a goal. Urawa, on the other hand, have lost their last six AFC Champions League matches on Korean soil, dating back to 2013.

Jeonbuk managed one away goal against Shanghai last week, and they can advance to the quarterfinals with at least a scoreless draw Wednesday.

In these two clubs' last meeting in Jeonju three years ago, Jeonbuk destroyed Shanghai 5-0 in the quarterfinals en route to capturing the 2016 title.

Jeonbuk, who also won the AFC title in 2006, are in first place in the K League 1. They had a 1-1 draw with Suwon Samsung Bluewings last Sunday to improve to 37 points on 11 wins, four draws and two losses. FC Seoul have an identical record, but Jeonbuk are ahead of them in goals scored with a league-high 33.

Ulsan, whose only AFC title came in 2012, have 36 points but have one match in hand. Ulsan have had the stingiest defense in the K League 1 this year with only 11 goals allowed.

In Sunday's match, Jeonbuk rested some of their regulars at the start, including leading scorer Kim Shin-wook, midfielder Ricardo Lopes and defender Hong Jeong-ho, so that they could be fresh and ready to go full throttle against Shanghai.

Ulsan are even better rested because they didn't even play last weekend. K League clubs participating in the AFC Champions League can have their domestic matches rescheduled, and Ulsan's Matchday 17 contest against Sangju Sangmu was postponed from last Saturday to July 24.

Ulsan have some injury concern with forward Lee Keun-ho, who started in the first leg and is dealing with some knee pains. Defensive midfielder Park Yong-woo picked up a yellow card in the first match and another yellow will make him ineligible for the first leg in the quarterfinals, if Ulsan advance that far.

In this file photo provided by the K League on June 3, 2019, Lee Dong-gook of Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors celebrates his goal against Sangju Sangmu during a K League 1 match on June 2, 2019, at Jeonju World Cup Stadium in Jeonju, 240 kilometers south of Seoul. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)


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