“It’s a great confidence booster for the team” after 2-0 win over Incheon
Choi Kang-hee greets head coach Cho Sung-hwan before the match against Incheon.
Choi Kang-hee, who traveled to South Korea to lead Chinese side Shandong
Taishan to an Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Champions League (ACL) match
against K League 1 side Incheon United, was happy to be back but more focused on the win.
“I was happy and emotional to come to a K League stadium after a long time, but
we had to play to win, so I was only focused on preparing for that,” Choi said at a
press conference after the ACL Group G third-leg match against Incheon at the Incheon Football Stadium on Friday.
Shandong leapfrogged to the top of Group G with a 2-0 victory over Incheon.
Choi, who arrived in China after managing K League One side Jeonbuk Hyundai
during its heyday, has been in charge of Shandong since May of this year, when
they were in the bottom half of the Chinese Super League. Shandong are currently
in second place in the league, and the win opened up the possibility of advancing to the round of 16 in the ACL.
“I thought it was going to be a tough game today. I thought it would be a physical
challenge for both teams, but the players were a little shaky at the beginning, but
they did what we prepared them to do,” Choi said, explaining that his orders to
maintain balance in the midfield, pressing, and overall were well executed.
“Incheon is in a very good mood and they were very tricky for us today, but the fact
that we managed to hold on without conceding a goal in the first half was a
winning factor,” he said, adding, 카지노사이트랭크 “I think today’s game will give the team a lot of confidence.”
He was quiet about standing on a K League pitch for the first time in about four
years, but he was full of praise for “monster defender” Kim Min-jae (Bayern Munich), who made his professional debut with Jeonbuk.
“I forgot about him,”
Choi joked when asked about Kim Min-jae, “Even when I was at Jeonbuk, I said that
Kim Min-jae would be competitive enough in Europe. It’s good for Korean soccer
that he can go to such a prestigious team,” he added.
Meanwhile, Brazilian striker Crijang, who was selected as a substitute by Choi in the
second half and scored the game-winning goal, also recognized that Incheon was a tough opponent.
“They are a great team. I think they played a lot more and were stronger than us
physically,” he said. “We were a bit sluggish in the beginning, but it was good that
we passed the time and created chances with our passes. We’re happy to go home with three points.”
“Coach Choi Kang-hee has made a lot of changes since he came to our team. “He
treats us the same regardless of our nationality and we have a good relationship with him. It’s an honor to work with him.” 섯다