Choi Kang-hee’s Shandong 0-2 dummy “playing some rotation, preparing for league, FA Cup, etc.”

Coach Cho Sung-hwan during the match against Shandong on Sept. 25.

After suffering their first defeat in their Asian Football Confederation (AFC)

Champions League (ACL) debut in three games, K League One Incheon United

head coach Cho Sung-hwan has labeled the current situation as a “crisis” amidst a packed schedule.

Speaking after the team’s ACL Group G match against Shandong Taishan (China)

at the Incheon Football Stadium on Friday, Cho said, “Soccer is not a game you win

by playing a lot or working hard. You have to score goals to win, and we didn’t

capitalize on our chances in the first half,” he reflected.

Earlier in the day, Incheon lost 0-2 to Shandong, their first loss after two straight wins in their ACL group stage debut.

Incheon welcomed Shandong, led by Choi Kang-hee, into the stadium and

threatened the goal through Mugosa and Gerso in the early stages of the match,

but could not find the finishing touch and eventually conceded back-to-back goals to their foreign opponents in the second half.

Incheon, who recently drew their last two K League 1 matches and then went

winless in the ACL, have also been dealing with injury issues.

Head coach Cho Sung-hwan

Has begun writing the numbers of players who have recently been sidelined with

injuries on their caps, including “8” and “20” for Shin Shin-ho and Delbridge, who are

out for the season, and “5” for Lee Myung-joo, who was injured against Pohang on the 20th.

Kim Yeon-soo, who had been active in the defense during the game, was also substituted after complaining of muscle pain.

“There are good times and bad times in the season, and I think the situation is a

crisis,” Cho said, emphasizing that the team needs to be alert in their respective

positions and prepare well to avoid any more problems.”

With the mood somewhat sagging, Incheon will play a league game against

Gwangju FC this weekend, followed by the Korea Football Association (FA) Cup, and

then a trip to ACL Shandong next month on July 7.

Cho said, “It’s hard for even the most physically fit players to perform well if the

games continue like this. I think we need to do a partial rotation,” Cho said, sharing his plans for the team.

“There are risks in many areas, so we need to prepare well in each position,

including thorough self-management and opponent analysis, so that we can

produce results in a difficult schedule,” he said, urging the players to work hard. 19가이드03

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