Jeonbuk is out for revenge on GuangzhouA Jeonbuk Motors team with revenge on the mind will host the Guangzhou Evergrande tonight as the 2013 Asian Football Confederation Champions League enters the second round of the opening group competition.
The Motors is desperate for a win after a 2-2 draw with Muangthong United of Thailand in that country on Feb. 26, but the match with the Evergrande will be more for redemption. Jeonbuk was humiliated by China’s Guangzhou 5-1 in the group stage of the 2012 ACL, which led to the 2011 Asian runner-up failing to advance to the Round of 16 last year.
Jeonbuk, in its quest for a double in the K League Classic and the ACL, brought in eight players before the K League Classic season kicked off this month. The retooling of the team is already producing results on offense, with the team scoring seven goals in three games including the first AFC game against Muangthong.
But, defense is a lingering problem for the 2012 K League Classic runner-up. Jung In-whan, a defender, and Jeong Hyuk, a defensive midfielder, who both moved to the team from Incheon United before the season, are struggling to establish chemistry with the other defenders.
Jeonbuk surrendered two goals to Thailand including a late equalizer. It allowed one goal in each of its first two K League Classic victories.
Guangzhou is seeking to dominate Group F after sinking Japan’s Urawa Red Diamonds 3-0 on Feb. 26.
Sponsored by Evergrande Real Estate Group, one of the largest real estate developers in China, Guangzhou is coached by Marcello Lippi, the former Italian national team coach, who replaced Korean manager Lee Jang-soo last May. The rich club also paid $10 million and $8.5 million, to bring in Dario Conca, an attacking midfielder from Argentina, and Lucas Barrios, a Paraguayan forward, respectively. The club won China’s Super League for a second consecutive time last year.
In another ACL match tonight, defending K League Classic champion FC Seoul will visit Buriram United of Thailand. Seoul thrashed China’s Jiangsu Sainty 5-1 on Feb. 26.
The Pohang Steelers, the 2012 K-League FA Cup winner, will play Bunyodkor of Uzbekistan in Tashkent tomorrow night. The Uzbek club beat Pohang 1-0 in the 2012 AFC Champions League in the group competition. Pohang was held to a scoreless draw by China’s Beijing Guoan on Feb. 27.
The Suwon Bluewings will play Guizhou Renhe of China at home tomorrow night. Suwon is coming off a scoreless draw with Australia’s Central Coast Mariners.
Two best teams from each group will advance to the Round of 16.
By Oh Myung-chul, Moon Gwang-lip [firstname.lastname@example.org]
with the Korea JoongAng Daily
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