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K League champs Jeonbuk going for 'double' in FA Cup final

All News 16:35 November 02, 2020

By Yoo Jee-ho

SEOUL, Nov. 2 (Yonhap) -- Fresh off their fourth consecutive K League 1 championship, Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors will now chase their second major trophy of the year at the largest national tournament this week.

Jeonbuk will renew their rivalry with fellow K League 1 outfit Ulsan Hyundai FC in the two-legged final of the FA Cup, organized by the Korea Football Association (KFA). Ulsan will host the opener at 7 p.m. Wednesday at Ulsan Munsu Football Stadium in Ulsan, some 415 kilometers southeast of Seoul. The second leg will be at Jeonju World Cup Stadium in Jeonju, 240 kilometers south of the capital, at 2 p.m. Sunday.

Members of Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors celebrate their 2020 K League 1 championship in a ceremony at Jeonju World Cup Stadium in Jeonju, 240 kilometers south of Seoul, on Nov. 1, 2020. (Yonhap)

The aggregate score will determine the champion, and in case of a tie in the aggregate, the team with more away goals will be declared the winner.

Jeonbuk will try to win their fourth FA Cup, and first since 2005. Ulsan won their first and only FA Cup in 2017.

Jeonbuk will be going for the franchise's first "double," or winning two major competitions in one season. They took care of one by claiming the K League 1 title Sunday, as they finished three points ahead of Ulsan.

And Jeonbuk's chances of completing a "treble," winning three major trophies in one year, are still alive. Following the FA Cup, Jeonbuk will resume group stage action at the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Champions League, the continent's top club tournament, on Nov. 22 in a Qatar bubble. The tournament was put on hold in February because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Ulsan Hyundai FC players react to their 3-0 victory over Gwangju FC to clinch second place in the K League 1 at Ulsan Munsu Football Stadium in Ulsan, 415 kilometers southeast of Seoul, on Nov. 1, 2020. (Yonhap)

No South Korean club has accomplished a treble.

Ulsan, too, can still complete a double, since they are also in the group stage at the AFC Champions League.

During the K League 1 season, Jeonbuk defeated Ulsan in all three meetings by a combined score of 5-1. Ulsan suffered four losses in 2020, and three of them came against Jeonbuk.

Jeonbuk coach Jose Morais said his players don't have to do anything special, since their league season just ended.

In this file photo from Dec. 3, 2017, Ulsan Hyundai FC players celebrate their FA Cup title at Ulsan Munsu Football Stadium in Ulsan, 415 kilometers southeast of Seoul. (Yonhap)

"We just have to do what we do well, and play with confidence as usual," Morais said in a videoconference interview Monday. "We'll do the best we can, as the professionals that we are, and try to win both matches for the title."

Ulsan boss Kim Do-hoon, an FA Cup champion as a player in 2000 with Jeonbuk, said he's not going to get caught up in the pursuit of a double.

Ulsan Hyundai FC head coach Kim Do-hoon (R) and defender Dave Bulthuis participate in a videoconference interview ahead of the FA Cup football tournament at the Korea Football Association House in Seoul on Nov. 2, 2020. (Yonhap)

"We first have to take care of the FA Cup. We've lost all three matches to Jeonbuk this year, and we have nothing more to lose," Kim said. "Winning the first match at home will be the key. I told the players that, since we lost to Jeonbuk three times, we should try to get the better of them at the FA Cup."

Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors head coach Jose Morais (R) and midfielder Son Jun-ho participate in a videoconference interview ahead of the FA Cup football tournament at the Korea Football Association House in Seoul on Nov. 2, 2020. (Yonhap)

Morais was on Jose Mourinho's staff during Inter Milan's treble season in 2010, when they won the Serie A, Coppa Italia and UEFA Champions League. They were the sixth European club to complete the treble and remain the only Italian team to accomplish that feat.

Asked about secrets to winning three competitions in one season, Morais cracked, "I am really sorry, but I can't. Coach Kim is watching this, too."

In this file photo from Dec. 17, 2005, Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors players celebrate their FA Cup title at Seoul World Cup Stadium in Seoul. (Yonhap)

jeeho@yna.co.kr
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