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AFC Recap: Becamex Binh Duong 3-2 Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors

Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors' recently underwhelming performances finally caught up with them in Vietnam as they went down 3-2 to a resilient Becamex Binh Duong. (Photo Credit: Hyundai-MotorsFC.com)
Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors' recently underwhelming performances finally caught up with them in Vietnam as they went down 3-2 to a resilient Becamex Binh Duong. (Photo Credit: Hyundai-MotorsFC.com)
After robbing Ulsan Hyundai of all three points, and then a fortuitous victory against Jeju United, Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors finally ran out of luck in the ACL as they lost away to Becamex Binh Duong 3-2. Jeonbuk are still yet to win away from home this year, and looked far from convincing as they fell to the Vietnamese champions.

Choi Kang-hee made a wealth of changes to Jeonbuk's starting line-up, with probably an eye towards a tricky clash with Pohang Steelers on Sunday. He will rue the missed opportunity for three points though, as now Jeonbuk will likely have to overcome tricky ties against either FC Tokyo or Jiangsu Suning to ensure their progress to the knockout rounds of the competition.

Choi Kang-hee made eight changes to his starting line-up as well as leaving some first team players back in Korea (Photo Credit: Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors Official Facebook Page)
Choi Kang-hee made eight changes to his starting line-up as well as leaving some first team players back in Korea
(Photo Credit: Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors Official Facebook Page)
I have recently criticised the Jeonbuk manager for his lack of consistency in the starting line-up, having made an average of five changes between each game in all competitions. For this ACL encounter, he opted for eight changes to the side that he deployed against Jeju on Saturday, offering the first starts of the campaign to left back Choi Jae-soo and central midfielder Jang Yun-ho in the process. The line-up also saw the returns of marquee acquisitions Erik Paartalu and Kim Shin-wook after their recent starting eleven exile.

An experimental Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors line-up that also saw the first starts of the campaign for Choi Jae-soo and Jang Yun-ho.  (Image generated using the Line-Up 11 app)
An experimental line-up that also saw the first starts of the campaign for Choi Jae-soo and Jang Yun-ho.
(Image generated using the Line-Up 11 app)
What was more notable, was the exclusion of Lee Dong-gook, Lee Jae-sung and Lim Jong-eun from the squad altogether. With a busy schedule for the next few weeks, the manager clearly felt he would not be requiring his top scorer, his national team (and rumoured European-bound) midfielder and his new defender, with the expectation that his rotated line-up should be capable of putting Binh Duong to task.

The opening ten minutes seemed like his decision could be justified as Jeonbuk started brightly, with Leonardo, Han Kyo-won and Lee-Jong-ho working well to create a number of chances. Jeonbuk were even nearly awarded a penalty after Lee Jong-ho was brought down in the box. Replays showed the Binh Duong defender got to the ball first, although his trailing leg proceeded to bring him down. A questionable decision for sure, but the newly acquired striker did not protest too much.

The 10th minute however saw a penalty awarded to the home side, despite Jeonbuk's opening dominance. Erik Paartalu was judged to have handled the ball in the area. Limited replay footage suggests that perhaps it did strike to the defensive midfielders arm, but given the pace it was going, the fact the arm appeared to be down by his side, and that there was a Binh Duong player behind him that would have blocked the shot anyway, it did seem harsh to give a penalty. The handball was definitely not intentional, being very much ball to hand.

Binh Duong captain Ahn Duc made the most of his opportunity though and converted the penalty past Jeonbuk keeper Kwoun Sun-tae, who dived the wrong way.

Converting from the spot. Jeonbuk initially go one-goal down to an Ahn Duc penalty.  (Photo Credit: Hyundai-MotorsFC.com)
Converting from the spot. Jeonbuk initially go one-goal down to an Ahn Duc penalty.
(Photo Credit: Hyundai-MotorsFC.com)
Jeonbuk nearly replied instantly, when a wicked free kick in from Leonardo struck the far upright. Two minutes later, Kim Shin-wook was gifted a free header and an empty net, yet managed to send his ball wide of the mark.

The scores were brought level though when Lee Jong-ho took his chance from just inside the box. The ball was crossed in by Leonardo, headed down by Kim Shin-wook and left for the ex-Jeonnam player to finish unchallenged.

The equaliser was followed one minute later with a quick counter attacking move that saw Han Kyo-won burst onto the end of a high ball over the top of the Binh Duong defence. The attackers sheer pace saw him poke it past the on-rushing goalkeeper, taking it left of the goal, and then calmly slotting home into an empty net. A very impressive goal from the 25 year old.

Shortly after this, Lee Jong-ho missed an excellent chance to triple Jeonbuk's lead, firing over the bar from a position not too different from his first goal.

Jeonbuk were made to regret not capitalising on this spell of dominance. A long, high ball in all the way from the Binh Duong keeper should have been easy enough to deal with, however, supposedly experienced centre-back Kim Hyung-il moved up, completely misjudging the ball's trajectory, and leaving space behind him for the striker to move into unmarked. Despite the best efforts of the young Choi Kyu-baek to come across and snuff out the danger, the damage was already done as Christian Amougou converted his gifted chance.

Becamex Binh Duong's Christian Amougou rejoices as he capitalises on a Kim Hyung-il error to bring the scores level.  (Photo Credit: The-AFC.com)
Becamex Binh Duong's Christian Amougou rejoices as he capitalises on a Kim Hyung-il error to bring the scores level.
(Photo Credit: The-AFC.com)
Half-time saw the manager play his first substitution, bizarrely removing the Australian for Luiz Henrique. While it may have been a more attacking change, Jeonbuk's defence were struggling enough without adding further pressure, and also Jeonbuk had made a hatful of chances in the first half and should have been coming out to continue their dominance.

However, the second half dragged on with few clear cut chances made. Choi Kang-hee opted to make his regular 62nd minute substitution, this time choosing to remove goalscorer Lee Jong-ho for Ricardo Lopes. Another questionable change given that Lee was having a good performance whilst Kim Shin-wook had not done anything since his assist earlier.

There was a notable chance for Leonardo in the 70th minute as Han Kyo-won laid the ball off to him in space, but the Brazilian winger directed his shot into the side-netting. 

The 75th minute then saw Binh Duong captain Ahn Duc go in late on Kim Chang-soo, but the defender was penalised for simulation. Again, the limited replays of the incident are questionable but it does appear his standing foot was caught. Perhaps it was the dramatic reaction of the right back though that led to the referee's call.

Shortly after, the Jeonbuk manager questionably took off Leonardo, a player who had been creating chances, and replaced him with recent acquisition Kim Hyo-gi for his first Jeonbuk appearance. 

Unfortunately for the debutant he did not have much time to make an impact in a role that he would have preferred because Jeonbuk were immediately reduced to ten men. Kim Chang-soo was incorrectly shown a second red after being perceived to foul Binh Duong's Le Tan Tai. Replays showed that he in fact had got the ball and the Binh Duong played had stamped on his shin before opting to roll on the ground as if he had been the one fouled. 

Subsequently, the Korean team's strategy switched from pressing for a winner, to defending a point.

Matters were compacted further as Kim Hyung-il, a player also on a caution, opted to break up a Binh Duong counter attack by hacking down the last-man. A definite red, but a questionable penalty. Again, limited replays of the incident made it difficult to decipher, but it appears the challenge took place just on the edge of the box. Binh Duong captain Ahn Duc made sure to convert from the spot though to give the home side the lead and all three points.

At full-time, the manager felt his team had played well but lost the match through their failure to take their chances. He also gave credit to a strong Binh Duong performance which was fair enough. It is easy to criticise the Jeonbuk team but the home side did play well. Ultimately though, the manager took responsibility for the result.

Jeonbuk manager Choi Kang-hee took responsibilty for the side's defeat and said that the team had failed to take their chances when presented with them. (Photo Credit: Hyundai-MotorsFC.com)
I have had a while to reflect since the full-time whistle blew. My initial sentiments were that this performance had been uninspiring and Jeonbuk would have ran out clear winners if the manager had not opted to rest so many of his strongest line-up.
(Maybe I was a little bit hasty with my comments)

While I do partly harbour this resentment still, the highlights do show that Jeonbuk did create a number of decent attacking opportunities as pointed out by the manager, but failed to convert. They were also the victims of poor refereeing decisions on more than one occasion.

This being said, the substitutions made were very questionable and the initial selection was not strong enough to put Binh Duong to the sword. It felt at times that the manager had underestimated his opposition. A simple scout report would have shown Binh Duong's home turf resilience yet Choi Kang-hee still felt that this was a secondary game, opting to put his focus more on the weekend tie against Pohang.

If Jeonbuk fail to progress from this group though, especially given the unusually high amount they have invested this winter, Choi Kang-hee may soon find himself answering serious questions about his position at the helm.

Were Jeonbuk hard done by? View the highlights for yourself on Daum and comment below.


2 comments

  1. Han Gyo-won's finish was class and Kim Hyung-il's defense was not. Moments like that would make it frustrating to follow this team.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Han Kyo-won was probably one of the few players who could come out of this with his head held high. I've been anti-rotation, but if his performance in this alternate line-up can give him a starting berth in more games then at least there will be something good that has come from this.

      Kim Hyung-il had a bit of a difficult time against Ulsan Hyundai as well. I've singled out Lim Jong-eun a lot in recent articles but it's the experienced defender who's made the more notable mistakes of recent. Both however have highlighted Choi Kyu-baek, the newly acquired young centre back who's only recently been starting. He's definitely one who has been trying hard to step up and another player I'd like to see get more of a chance in other games given our lack of defence, probably starting in place of the aforementioned Kim Hyung-il.

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