Goalkeeper Kim Dong-heon, who made a crucial save to secure Incheon’s historic victory, said the team went into the game with confidence rather than nerves against Japanese J-League powerhouse Yokohama.
Incheon United defeated Yokohama F.Marinos 4-2 in the first leg of their 2023-24 Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Champions League (ACL) Group G match at Nissan Stadium in Yokohama, Japan, at 7 p.m. on Monday. The victory made club history.
In the first ACL match in franchise history, Incheon deployed a 3-5-2 formation. Mugosa and Gerso partnered up front, while Jung Dong-yoon, Kim Do-hyuk, Shin Shin-ho, Lee Myung-joo, and Kim Jun-yup formed the midfield. The back four was Delbridge, Kim Dong-min, and Kim Yeon-soo, with Kim Dong-heon in goal. The first half was a back-and-forth affair. Incheon took the lead with an own goal in the eighth minute of the first half, but they quickly equalized, and then Gerso scored in the 37th minute of the first half, only to concede again in the final minute of the half.
The game was decided in the second half, when Incheon made a substitution. Hernandez came on for Mugosa in the 16th minute of the second half. It paid off immediately. In the 23rd minute, Hernandez made an individual breakthrough and attempted a sharp shot, but it hit the post. Incheon then made a change in the 28th minute, bringing on Mpoku and Kim Bo-seop.
Coach Cho Sung-hwan’s substitutions paid off. In the 30th minute, on a counterattack, Hernandez received a pass from Mpoku, quickly penetrated, looked the other way, and hit the corner of the goal. Incheon drove a wedge into the game. In the 34th minute, Mpoku intercepted an opponent’s pass, and Hernandez quickly rose to the ball and rattled the net with a cannonball shot. From there, Incheon steadied the ship and secured the win.
Hernandez was the star of the show with his two goals, but the supporting actor was goalkeeper Kim Dong-heon, who was the last man standing. Kim made saves in each of Incheon’s crucial moments, contributing to the team’s historic victory.
After the game, Kim said, “I was more confident than nervous because we played against a strong team from the Japanese J League. 바카라사이트 With that confidence, the players scored a lot of goals and played the kind of soccer we are good at, which is why we won,” said Kim.
“I thought we might be nervous before the game because of the large home crowd in Yokohama. It was my first time playing in the ACL, so I had high expectations, but having high expectations actually made me less nervous. The opponent was a strong team, so I tried to make all the plays I wanted to make, which led to a few good saves.”