“We won with an unbreakable spirit.”
After a convincing win in their Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Champions League debut, head coach Cho Sung-hwan of professional soccer’s 텍사스홀덤 K League 1 Incheon United attributed the victory to “confidence.
Cho Sung-hwan’s side 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 great 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, “and I’m glad 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. “We were ahead and we gave up a chasing goal,” he said, explaining that the players won the game with an unbreakable spirit.
“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 our remaining ACL group 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 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,” said Kim, who made several saves. “I tried to play everything I wanted to play because the opponent was a strong team, and that’s what led to the saves.”