After a convincing win in their Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Champions League debut, head coach Cho Sung-hwan of professional soccer’s K League 1 Incheon United attributed the victory to “confidence.
Incheon won their 2023-2024 AFC Champions League (ACL) Group G first leg against Yokohama F. Marinos 4-2 at Nissan Stadium in Yokohama, Japan, on Sept. 19.
Playing in the ACL for the first time since its founding in 2003, Incheon got off to a good start with a convincing win on its debut.
“I think it means a lot to win a big game in the ACL for the first time,” said Cho at the official press conference after the match. “I’m very happy that the Incheon fans came to the game and supported us, so we were able to handle the pressure well.”
Cho commented on the multi-goal performance of Hernandez, who came on as a second-half substitute, saying, “He scored in the first half by counterattacking and using the space behind the defense. “The players won the game with an unbreakable spirit,” he said, adding, “We scored the chasing goal while we were ahead.
“We wanted to bring in players with speed and solo play in the second half to help us fight back, so we brought in players like Hernandez,” he added.
“We’re continuing to build on the goals we set at the beginning of the season,” said Cho. “Today’s win means a lot to our team. We will continue to work hard to get good results in the remaining ACL group stage matches.”
Goalkeeper Kim Dong-heon, who also spoke at the press conference, said, “I think we won because we scored a lot of goals with confidence and played the kind of soccer we are good at.”
Kim Dong-heon was honored with the Man of the Match (MOM) award.
“It was my first time playing on the ACL stage, so I had high expectations, but the high expectations actually made me less nervous,” said Kim, who made several saves. “The opponent was a strong team, so I tried to make all the plays I wanted to make, which led to the saves.” 스포츠토토