“We were worried because we had a lot of injuries, but we played a good game,” said Pohang Steelers head coach Kim Ki-dong after defending champions Urawa Reds (Japan) made it three straight wins in the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Champions League (ACL) group stage.
Pohang, coached by Kim Ki-dong, won their 2023-2024 ACL Group J match against Urawa 2-0 on Thursday at Saitama Stadium 2002 in Saitama, Japan.
With the win, Pohang solidified its position at the top of Group J with its third consecutive victory, setting the stage for the round of 16.
“We were worried about injuries in the ACL as well as in the K League, but we showed a good performance today,” Kim said at the official press conference after the game.
Despite their convincing away win against last year’s ACL champions Urawa, he added, “I was disappointed that we lacked decisiveness in situations where we could have scored additional goals. We will continue to play well with the players in both the K League and ACL,” he encouraged the players.
“Urawa’s style is very similar to ours. We played our own practice games and thought about where their weaknesses might be,” he said. “We tightened up our central defense in preparation for short passes and prepared for counterattacks.”
“We thought that if we used Kim In-sung’s speed to counterattack, they would be confused. When they brought up a lot of side defense resources and gave us space, we took advantage of it.”
“It’s always difficult to play against 사설토토 Japan, so I’m glad we got a good result today,” said Kim In-sung, who also spoke at the press conference.
Kim In-sung took the field for Jung Jae-hee in the first 30 minutes and assisted on Go Young-joon’s goal four minutes into the second half to seal the win.
“We have a lot of important games coming up in Korea,” said Kim, “and this win gives us the strength to make it easier for our upcoming games.”