Ulsan beats Shanghai in Champions League

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Ulsan beats Shanghai in Champions League

Korea’s Ulsan Hyundai FC collected its first win in the 2019 Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Champions League after beating Chinese side Shanghai SIPG 1-0 on Wednesday.

Junior Negrao was the only goal scorer at Munsu Football Stadium in Ulsan, some 400 kilometers (248 miles) south of Seoul, anchoring the K League 1 club’s win over the reigning Chinese Super League champions in their AFC Champions League (ACL) Group H match. Ulsan now have one win and one draw in the group. The 2012 ACL champions played to a scoreless draw with Sydney FC in Australia last week.

The latest result also avenged Ulsan’s defeat against Shanghai in last year’s ACL. Ulsan lost to Shanghai 1-0 at home after playing to a 2-2 draw on the road in its group stage meetings in 2018.

Ulsan will next host Kawasaki Frontale of Japan on April 10 for their third group stage match.

Against Shanghai, Ulsan made a surprising move by starting 1.92-meter (6-foot 3-inch) forward Kim Su-an ahead of its main target man Junior. Shanghai deployed its formidable Brazilian attacking trio - Elkeson, Hulk and Oscar - to unlock Ulsan’s four-man defense.

In the 21st minute, Kim Su-an headed down a Kim Chang-soo cross, but it was too weak to beat Shanghai goalkeeper Yan Junling. The visitors responded with Oscar’s powerful middle-range effort in the 27th and Hulk’s free kick in the 38th, though both attempts were saved by Ulsan goalkeeper Oh Seung-hoon.

Ulsan first made a substitution in the 56th, replacing Kim Su-an for Junior, and the Brazilian striker fired a left-footed shot on target just three minutes after he entered the pitch. In the 62nd, his close range effort was denied by Yan.

Junior finally hit the net in his third attempt on goal. In the 66th, he headed down a corner kick from Kim Bo-kyung and gave the Korean hosts a 1-0 lead.

Former Chelsea midfielder Oscar tried to level the score for Shanghai with shots in the 72nd, 76th and 87th, but all of them were stopped by Oh.

Looking for an equalizer, Shanghai pushed forward and put more players in the attacking third. However, Ulsan was able to hold on to its lead until the final whistle.

In Thailand, defending K League 1 champions Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors fell to Buriram United 1-0.

Jeonbuk surrendered a winning goal to Supachok Sarachat in the second half at Buriram Stadium in Buriram, Thailand, and suffered their first defeat in Group G.

Jose Morais’ side now has one win and one loss. It beat Beijing Guoan 3-1 at home last week.

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