Suwon wings clipped by Ulsan Hyundai in Round of 16

Gabriel Tan Gabriel Tan

Ulsan Hyundai drew first blood in their AFC Champions League Round of 16 first leg against Suwon Samsung Bluewings after recording a 1-0 win at the Ulsan Munsu Football Stadium on Wednesday.

In a battle between two of Korea Republic’s big guns, the opening 45 was understandably a cagey affair given both sides’ familiarity with one another.

Suwon arguably posed the bigger threat on paper but the Ulsan defence were doing an excellent job, as they hardly gave a sniff to opposition’s dangerous duo of Dejan Damjanovic and Waguininho a sniff.

As the second half wore on, the hosts began to threaten with more regularity and Mislav Orsic produced a decent effort in the 63rd minute with a dipping drive that brushed the top off the bar.

And, just four minutes later, Ulsan coach Kim Do-hoon’s decision to replace the ineffective Hwang Il-su with Kim In-sung proved to be a masterstroke.

Mere moments after coming on, Kim raced onto an incisive pass from Orsic and did well to protect the ball with Lee Ki-je in close attention, before coolly finishing past Shin Hwa-yong.

That goal ultimately proved to be the winner on the night, although there remains plenty to play for when these two K League 1 rivals face off again in Suwon next Wednesday.

ULSAN HYUNDAI: Oh Seong-hoon, Kim Chang-soo, Lim Jong-eun, Kang Min-soo, Lee Myung-jae, Richard Windbichler, Park Joo-ho, Kim Seung-jun (Han Seung-gyu 59’), Hwang Il-su (Kim In-sung 66’), Mislav Orsic (Park Yong-woo 90’), Yohei Toyoda.

SUWON SAMSUNG BLUEWINGS: Shin Hwa-yong, Koo Ja-ryong, Jo Sung-jin, Kwak Kwang-seon, Jang Ho-ik, Kim Jong-woo, Kim Eun-sun, Lee Ki-je (Park Hyung-jin 71’), Waguininho, Yeom Ki-hun (Lim Sang-hyub 77’), Dejan Damjanovic (Kim Gun-hee 75’).