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Ulsan Hyundai exact revenge in dominant win


Ulsan Hyundai claimed revenge over East Coast rivals Pohang Steelers as Lee Chung-yong scored his first K League goals in 11 years. Kim In-sung and Junior Negao added a third and fourth respectively from close range to send Kim Do-hoon's men home happy.

What Happened?

A fast tempo was always assured in such a feisty encounter and so it proved in the early stages with Aleksandar Paločević stinging the hands of Cho Hyun-woo from 25 yards. Ulsan's first real opening came on 25 minutes as Lee Chung-yong picked the ball up in space but flashed his effort wide. That was a warning shot for Kim Gi-dong's side they didn't heed as just a minute later Lee reacted quickest to Junior Negao's header rebounding off the post to give the Horangi the lead. The former Crystal Palace winger was at it again 10 minutes later to claim his brace cutting in from the ring to fire a pin-point strike inside Kang Hyeon-mu's left-hand post.

Pohang boss Kim wasted no time making changes as 20-year-old Song Min-kyu replaced Manuel Palacios at the break before Kwon Wan-kyu came on for the injured Lee Gwang-hyeok 10 minutes later. As Ulsan looked to see the match out Song nearly broke through on one occasion but an experienced back line ushered away any danger and on 75 minutes Kim In-sung put the game beyond doubt tapping home from Junior's sliced attempt. With minutes remaining Junior did find the net himself taking advantage of sloppy Pohang defending to put some gloss on the score line.  

Revenge mission accomplished

Kim Do-hoon's side pulled off a ruthless dismantling of their bitter rivals striving throughout the second half to add to their goal tally. Both teams are clearly over the early season malaise extended by unusual pre-season preparations and performed at a dizzying pace. However, it was Ulsan who had the clinical edge and secure second-place in the K League table.

"This game is very important to me after what happened last year." - Junior Negao to K League United

With players such as Yoon Bit-garam and Lee Dong-gyeong on the bench it shows that Ulsan possess the strength in depth for another title challenge this season, sitting just one point behind Jeonbuk Hyundai at the top of the table. The only potential negative from tonight's sterling performance perhaps being Lee Chung-yong showing a potential injury before being substituted.

LISTEN: Junior Negao and Brandon O'Neill interviews

Disjointed Pohang

Pohang will want to put this match behind them as soon as possible. Kim Gi-dong's side were unable to get Paločević into the game and see his full creative effect, while Stanislav Iljutcenko cut a frustrated figure up top despite a couple of pot shots. Palacios' substitution at half time, if tactical is sign enough of how the Steelers were unable to cut through Ulsan's experienced back line, instead opting for a younger and fresher option following the interval. 

With a tricky trip to Sangju Sangmu next weekend followed by tough looking home fixtures the following week against champions Jeonbuk Hyundai and Gangwon FC, Pohang need to be careful they don't let a promising start to the season go to waste. While one poor performance tonight will not define their season, they need a boost after just one win in their last four outings if they are to cement an Asian Champions League spot this season. 


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