Getting to know- Ulsan HyundaiPosted: February 27, 2017
Brisbane’s 2017 AFC Champions League campaign resumes tomorrow night with a game away from home K-League side Ulsan Hyundai. Unlike fellow Group E combatants, Brisbane have played Ulsan Hyundai before, with a 1-1 draw away before the South Korean side travelled to Brisbane and left with a somewhat controversial 2-1 win. Fun fact, that was the game where Shane Stefanutto scored his one and only goal for the club. You can see highlights of the away game here, and the home game here. Like with every other opponent however, lets get to know a bit more about tomorrow nights opponent.
Founded in 1983 as Hyundai Horang-I, joining the K-League for the first time back in 1984. It wasn’t until 1990 however that the team moved to the city of Ulsan due to the nearby headquarters of their Hyundai ownership group, which saw the side become a greater force in the competition.
After winning the K-League twice in 1996 and 2005, the club turned their attention to the Champions League like most K-League clubs, making the semi-final in 2006 before going on to win the competition in 2012.
K-League Classic- (2) 1996, 2005.
League Cup (5) – 1986, 1995, 1998, 2007, 2011.
Super Cup (1) – 2006.
Asian Champions League (1) – 2012.
Ulsan Munsu Football Stadium
Ulsan play their home games at the Ulsan Munsu Football Stadium, a 44,000 seat custom built stadium for the 2002 World Cup held in South Korea and Japan. When the two sides met back in 2012 Ulsan and Brisbane played out a 1-1 draw on Matchday 3.
Record in Asia 1998- Round of 16
2006- Semi Final
2009- Group Stage
2014- Group Stage
Ulsan have been a semi-regular in the Asian Champions League since it’s inception with five previous participations in the competition, including winning the 2012 edition with a 3-0 final win over Saudi side Al-Ahli. Progression from the Group Stage in three of the five previous participations shows that the South Korean side are a genuine threat to qualify for the last 16 once again.
How they qualified
Ulsan’s participation in this years competition is a complex story based around court cases, after Jeonbuk Hyundai were excluded from the competition after a bribery scandal.
That resulted in a late reshuffle of the K-League’s ACL spots, with 4th placed Ulsan elevated into the playoff round of qualifying and had to rely on penalties to beat Hong Kong Champion Kitchee to book their place in the Group Stage.
Manager- Kim Do-Hoon
46 year old Kim leads the Ulsan side having been appointed over the off-season and is in his second major managerial role after a two year spell with Incheon United. Prior to that Kim had a successful playing career in the K-League with the likes of Jeonbuk and Seongnam, in addition to making 72 appearances for his country, scoring 30 goals.
Ulsan Hyundai Manager- Jang Minki.
Goalkeepers- Kim Yongdae, 21) Jo Suhuk, 31) Jang Dae Hee.
Defenders- 3) Lee Ki Je, 4) Kang Min Soo, 13) Lee Myung Jae, 15) Jung Seung Hyun, 22) Kim Chigon, 23) Choi Kyu Baek, 25) Jeong Dong Ho, 27) Kim Chang Soo, 33) Lee Ji Hun, 40) Richard Windbichler.
Midfielders- 5) Park Yong Woo, 6) Jeong Jae Yong, 8) Kim Sung Hwan, 9) Mislav Orsic, 11) Suh Myeong Won, 16) Kim Geon-Uug, 17) Jang Seong Jai, 20) Han Sang-Wun, 32) Lee Young Jae, 42) Han Seung Gyu, 70) Dimitri Petratos.
Forwards- Kim In Sung, 10) Lee Jong Ho, 18) Nam Hee Cheol, 19) Kim Seung Jin, 29) Kim Yong Jin, 44) Ivan Kovacec.
Dimitri Petratos- A player that we here in Brisbane know plenty about, Petratos was signed with the Champions League in mind as Ulsan’s AFC visa player. Despite only playing a bit part role off the bench last week in Japan and only just settling in to surroundings at his new club, it’s likely that due to the knowledge Petratos possesses of his old club that he will play a role tomorrow night.
Mislav Orsic- 24 year old attacking midfielder Orsic is a recent addition from Chinese Super League side Changchun Yatai, having previously represented Jeonnam Dragons in the K-League.
Ivan Kovacec- 28 year old Croatian striker is likely to be the leading man upfront for Ulsan, having scored 13 goals in 53 appearances since arriving joining the K-League in 2015. Prior to that Kovacec bounced around clubs in Central and Eastern Europe, and while his goal scoring ratio isn’t the greatest he figures to be a threat.
Kim Chang-Soo- As the only Ulsan member of the South Korean national team, the 31 year old full-back adds some experience to the back four, having represented the country 24 times including as part of the 2015 Asian Cup squad. Last season however Kim made just the 8 appearances for Jeonbuk, with more successful stints at Busan I’Park and J-League side Kashiwa Reysol prior to that.
If you’d like to know even more about tomorrow nights opponent, including how Dimitri Petratos is fitting in at his new club, you can have a read of a chat we had with K-League United here.