Hwang ecstatic after FC Seoul reach semi-finals

FC Seoul coach Hwang Sun-hong has heaped praise on his side after they progressed to the semi-finals of the AFC Champions League on Wednesday.

Despite being held to a 1-1 draw in the second leg of their clash with Shandong Luneng, FC Seoul advanced as they beat the Chinese Super League club 4-2 on aggregate.

For Hwang, the victory was made even more special by the fact that it was the first time he has made it through to the semi-finals of the competition as a coach.

“I am very happy that we have qualified for the semi-finals,” he said. “Before the match we were aware that Shandong was a very strong team. We also knew this was a very important match.”

FC Seoul would have been worried after Walter Montillo put Shandong ahead in the 59th minute as their aggregate lead had been trimmed down to 3-2.

Substitute Yun Ju-tae came to the rescue for the K League club as he restored their two-goal advantage by finding the back of the net in the 82nd minute.

Hwang lauded his side for keeping their cool after Shandong took the lead and putting the final nail in the coffin right towards the end of the game.

“Shandong had a more aggressive style this time compared with their last match and we were in a very difficult situation after they scored first,” he said. “But as I expected, they players managed to fight back and we are happy about the final scoreline.

“Our players were fantastic. And thanks also go to our good preparation and the support from those fans who travelled here from Korea. It is a very special match for us.”