‘First ACL in 20 years,’ Incheon’s Cho Sung-hwan hopes to bring joy and happiness to fans

Incheon United has announced its intention to take another step forward in its quest for its first Asian competition in its 20-year history.
Incheon will host Yokohama F.Marinos at Nissan Stadium in Yokohama, Japan, at 7 p.m. on Sept. 19 in the first leg of their 2023-24 Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Champions League (ACL) Group G match.

Last season, Incheon finished fourth in the K League One with 13 wins, 15 draws and 10 losses. Second-place finisher Jeonbuk Hyundai won the FA Cup, earning Incheon a playoff spot. Incheon joined the group stage after defeating Hai Phong FC (Vietnam) 3-1 in extra time on March 22.

At the official press conference held before the game, Incheon head coach Cho Sung-hwan said, “It’s a meaningful ACL stage on the 20th anniversary of the club’s founding, and we will do our best to bring joy and happiness to our fans.” “As the coach said, we have been waiting for Incheon to play in the Asian stage for a long time,” said Lee Myung-joo, who represented the team, “and we are happy to achieve it and expect a good performance.”

Along with making history, most of the players will also be playing their first ACL game. “Some of the players have experienced ACLs, some haven’t,” Cho said, adding that he asked them to approach the game with a challenging attitude because it was an international match. “In addition to the technical and physical aspects, we also emphasized the mental aspect,” he added.

“We have a lot of experienced players and a lot of players with good skills,” said Lee Myung-joo, who has played for several teams and has a lot of experience in the ACL stage. “I told them to prepare well and play calmly and enjoyably.”

“They won the J-League last year,” Cho said of his opponent Yokohama, “and we know that they have a good buildup from the back.” As for his opponent, Nam Tae-hee, he analyzed him as having “solid fundamentals and skills.”

“(Nam Tae-hee) is a good player who showed good form in youth and has experienced the European and Asian stages,” said Lee Myung-joo, adding, “I think he’s a key player, so we’ll have to be careful to stop him.”

Incheon will play their first away game in three days after completing their K League schedule. “Yokohama played a day before us,” Cho said, adding, 바카라 “We might not be in good shape because we’re away, but the team is mentally prepared, so I believe we’ll be able to handle it.” “Regarding player selection, we are preparing to send out our most fit and experienced players,” he added.

Ahead of Incheon’s first ACL appearance, many away fans will be in town to cheer them on. “I’m always grateful,” said Cho, who added, “I feel a sense of responsibility because I think they’re coming to support not only the league but also the ACL.” “We’ll do our best to prepare for their return to Incheon so that their steps will be light,” he said.

Lee Myung-joo also expressed his determination, saying, “You will be able to see the power of Incheon’s support with your own eyes (on game day).” “We are tired from playing two days ago, but the players are ready to play today,” he said. “We’ll do our best to prepare for the game in front of the fans who are traveling to support us,” he said.

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