Ulsan reduce the Roar’s CL challenge to a whimper

Ulsan Hyundai demolished the Brisbane Roar 5-0 in the AFC Champions League on Tuesday as the Australian side’s chances of progressing to the knock-out stages seem to be now merely flickering.

Coming off a shock 2-1 loss to the Wellington Phoenix in the A-League on the weekend, the Roar were hoping to get back to winnings ways against Ulsan at the Ulsan Munsu Football Stadium, however, it was not to be.

Ulsan finished fourth in the K-League last season and would have been disappointed with their AFC Champions League opening day defeat to the Kashima Antlers last week.

However, their campaign is now certainly up and running after this quite magnificent exhibition of attacking football against a shambolic looking Brisbane outfit.

With barely 10 minutes played, Kim In-sung got Ulsan off to the perfect start as he collected the ball and struck it sweetly from range. It clipped a defender before nestling into Jamie Young’s net.

Just three minutes later and Ulsan doubled their advantage as a superb individual dash from Mislav Oršić ended with him passing the ball into the goal.

The points were wrapped up with 34 minutes on the clock. After continued pressure, Orsic bagged his second with a powerful blade-cutter.

The score at half-time was 3-0 in favour of Ulsan and the Brisbane players cut dejected figures as they trudged off the field for half-time oranges.

They came out in the second-half and were unable to stop the Ulsan players from finding large pockets of space in the final third of the field.

With 55 minutes gone, Ivan Kovacec got on the score sheet with a neat pull-back and composed finish that marked his 13th career goal for the Korean giants.

At this point, one feared the worst for the Roar. The Ulsan midfielders were enjoying carte blanche in the middle of the park and the strikers were waiting hungrily for any kind of opportunities.

And as expected, it got worse when In-sung completed his brace with a beauty from distance.

With regular time a thing of the past, Ulsan continued to press and completed a 6-0 rout as substitute Lee Jong-Ho headed home in the 93rd minute of play.

The Roar have now gone 180 minutes without a goal being scored in this year’s AFC Champions League. Their attack is horribly inefficient and lacks creativity while their defence seems extremely vulnerable too.

Mathematically they still have every chance of advancing to the business end of the competition. However, in reality, considering their form, that seems highly unlikely.

On the contrary, Ulsan looked every bit a contender for the trophy this year. Their transitions from defence to attack were seamless and their complete and utter dominance of the middle of the field was astonishing considering this is Asia’s premier club competition.