“Today’s first half was the worst of the season” (Ulsan head coach Hong Myung-bo). “The performance itself was good, and the players did a good job” (Daejeon head coach Lee Min-sung)
Ulsan Hyundai, a team that shrinks in size when it meets Daejeon Hana Citizen, a promoted team in professional soccer’s K League 1, narrowly escaped with a point after nearly losing again.
Ulsan, whose opening seven-game winning streak was halted by a 1-2 defeat in Daejeon on April 16, conceded three goals in the first half and trailed 1-3 before earning a hard-fought draw thanks to two goals from striker Lee In-gyu.
Ulsan drew 3-3 with Daejeon in the 15th round of the Hana One Q K League 2023 at the Munsu Football Stadium in Ulsan on Monday.
Ulsan scored the first goal of the match in the 20th minute on an own goal, but then conceded three goals in the first half to fall behind 1-3. The three goals were the most conceded by Ulsan in a single game this season.
Ulsan, whose league winning streak was halted at six games, remained unbeaten in eight matches (six wins, two draws) and extended its lead at the top of the table with 38 points (12 wins, two draws, one loss). They are 11 points behind second-place FC Seoul (27).
Daejeon, who came close to catching the ‘big fish’ Ulsan once again, remained in fifth place (22 points) after three league games without a win (one draw and two losses).
Ulsan took the lead through an own goal in the 20th minute.
From a corner kick on the right, Lee Myung-jae’s ball went straight into the net as Daejeon defender Kim Min-duk tried to cut it off with his head.
Afterward, Daejeon fought back fiercely.
In the 24th minute, Kim Hyun-woo’s shot from the right side of the penalty area was deflected in a scramble, and Seol Young-woo’s attempt to clear the ball in front of the goal did not go far, allowing Leandro to slide it in.
The next goal also came in Daejeon. In the 32nd minute, Leandro’s penetrating pass was met with an exquisite touch by Masa in the center of the penalty area and he slammed home a right-footed shot to turn the tide.
Ulsan conceded another goal in the 38th minute when Rubikson’s header from Park Yong-woo’s cross from the right flank was the first shot on target in front of goalkeeper Lee Chang-geun.
In the 42nd minute, Massa received a cross from Leandro on the right flank, folded in front of the goal and finished with his left foot to give Daejeon its third goal.
It was the most conceded goal of the season for Ulsan, which had never conceded more than two goals in 15 official matches this season, including the previous 14 league games and the Korea Football Association (FA) Cup Round of 16 (2-1 win over K League 2’s Jeonnam Dragons).
Ulsan came out firing early in the second half, 스포츠토토 and finally got a goal in the 32nd minute when Lee Min-kyu headed home a Rubik’s Cube cross.
Still trailing by one goal, Ulsan scored a crucial equalizer in the 43rd minute when In-Joo struck again.
After a pass from Park Yong-woo, Cho Hyun-taek, and Martin Adam, In-Joo calmly finished with his left foot to score his eighth goal of the league, tying him with Na Sang-ho (Seoul) for the league lead in goals.