Ulsan Hyundai coach Hong Myung-bo (54)’s ’10-year cycle luck’ is no longer ‘science’. The cycle changed to ‘one year’. Even in 2023, the K-League was ‘Ulsan World’.도메인
Ulsan, celebrating its 40th anniversary, soared higher with its first K-League two-game losing streak. Ulsan won 2-0 in the second round of the ‘Hana One Q K League 1 2023’ final against Daegu FC held at Ulsan World Cup Stadium on the 29th. The magic of the ‘winning magic number’ has finally been lifted.
Ulsan reached the 70-point mark. Pohang, in second place, only added 1 point after drawing 1-1 with Jeonbuk Hyundai the previous day, and has 60 points. Ulsan ended its championship race early with three games left. Even if Ulsan loses all of its games, it will not be overturned.
Ulsan has its fourth star in the team’s history, following 1996, 2005, and 2022. Coach Hong took the helm of Ulsan in 2021. The first season was painful, but last year, we enjoyed ‘normal joy’ for the first time in 17 years. Last year, he made another promise. “With this win, I need to change it to the ‘one-year cycle theory.’” It has become a reality.
There was no enemy. It was a ‘straight line’ journey. Although he was placed in 3rd place in the second round due to multiple points, he was always in first place in terms of points. Not once did he lose the lead.
Ulsan broke the trend with six consecutive wins twice and five consecutive wins once. Ulsan’s record up to the 21st round, well past the turning point, was 17 wins, 2 draws, and 2 losses. Coach Hong’s leadership, the epitome of charisma, was outstanding this season as well. Public and private life were clearly distinguished. He didn’t even show any emotion.
Of course, he wasn’t always good. There were trials, but there were no failures. Ulsan was poor with 3 wins, 5 draws, and 5 losses in the last 13 games before the match against Daegu. Even at that moment, Director Hong’s message was clear. Kim Young-kwon, the leader of the defensive line, said, “The coach makes sure to motivate us every game. We enter the stadium knowing the reason. We are trusting the coach’s words, so things are going well.”
Coach Hong went down in history as the 6th coach to achieve 2 consecutive wins in K League 1. He said, “I am very happy. I am even more happy that I was able to make the decision to win in front of the home fans. When the final round matchup came out, I thought I would definitely win within two games. The career of a coach is not important. The people with me play soccer while playing soccer. “It’s important to have fun, be happy, and grow,” he said with a bright smile.
Daemido is a work created by director Hong. The boring battle broke up in the 23rd minute of the second half. Coach Hong substituted Kim Min-hyuk in the 19th minute of the second half. It was a decisive mercenary technique. Four minutes later, Kim Min-hyuk headed Ataru’s cross for the winning goal. The key goal was also scored by Joo Min-gyu and Jang Si-young, who were substituted in the 39th minute of the second half. Jang Si-young amazingly controlled Joo Min-gyu’s cross and opened the goal with his right foot. Jang Si-young decorated his K-League debut goal with a ‘winner congratulations’.
Coach Hong said, “It’s good to win every time. Last year, I had a goal and a sense of responsibility to win the championship for the first time in 17 years. This year, the result was achieved without too much difficulty. Of course, the end was not good, so there was some disappointment in the process. . However, in the past, it would have collapsed, but it will be an important point for the team to grow,” he said. “The ground is a microcosm of life. This year, there were issues both inside and outside the stadium, but it was a year in which I learned a lot about life.”
Coach Hong finally said, “I am not the main character. The players are the main characters. There were difficulties and difficult times from the coach’s perspective. As a result, we produced a happy ending. I believe we have improved this year compared to last year, but there are some things that are not the case. This year has been a year. “I will review what I have done so far and do more research on which team I will join next year,” he said with a bright smile.
Ulsan achieved a new milestone by winning two consecutive games in K League 1 and exceeding 300,000 spectators in a single season for the first time since its founding. On this day, 18,933 people entered, and the cumulative number of spectators reached 300,406. It was a new era that went beyond the limitations of local clubs. The coronation ceremony for Ulsan’s second consecutive victory will be held on December 2 after the final game of the season, Jeonbuk Hyundai.