Incheon advancing to the Asian stage, a meaningful confrontation with Haiphong

Incheon United will take on the Asian stage challenge. The first opponent is the Vietnamese club Hai Phong FC.

Incheon and Haiphong will play the 2023-2024 Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Champions League (ACL) playoff at the Incheon Soccer Stadium at 7:30 pm on the 22nd.

Cho Seong-hwan, manager of Incheon United. Reporter Seo Hyeong-kwon

Incheon had a season that exceeded expectations last year. Unlike the previous seasons, which struggled with the threat of relegation, they consistently competed at the top. Eventually, after 9 years, he succeeded in entering Final A and finished the season in 4th place.

The fruit was also sweet. As Jeonbuk Hyundai, which had already secured the right to advance to the ACL by ranking in the league, rose to the top of the FA Cup, the qualification to participate in the ACL for the FA Cup winning team passed to 4th place Incheon. It was the first time in the club’s history that Incheon entered the ACL.

Incheon is preparing to go to the Asian stage by unveiling the first ACL uniform ‘TAKE-OFF’, but it has not yet been confirmed to advance to the finals. You have to pass the playoffs to enjoy the joy of participating in the ACL in earnest. On the 15th, Haiphong was decided as Incheon’s opponent. Hai Phong advanced to the playoffs after beating Hong Kong’s Rangers 4-1 after extra time in the ACL East Asian regional qualifiers.

It is a meaningful match. Incheon and Haiphong are known as cities with many things in common. Hai Phong, located in northern Vietnam, is a port city adjacent to the sea. It serves as a gateway to Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam, and is considered one of the three largest cities in Vietnam along with Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. There are also direct contacts between cities. The two cities signed a sisterhood relationship in 1997 and continue to exchange.메이저놀이터

In terms of football, there are similarities between the two clubs. Haiphong also hovered in the lower ranks until recently. They narrowly avoided relegation by finishing 12th out of 14 teams in the 2019 season. In the aftermath of the new coronavirus infection (Corona 19), it was not fully progressed, but the 2020 and 2021 seasons also ranked 12th at the last moment.

Just as Incheon improved its ranks under manager Cho Seong-hwan, Haiphong also improved its performance after the appointment of Judin Nghim as manager, and secured qualification to participate in the ACL by ranking second in the league last season. It’s not the first time I’ve been on the Asian stage, but it’s been a while. He participated in the Asian Cup Winners’ Cup in the 1996-1997 season. It is similar that this season, compared to last season, the ranking has gone down a few places. Incheon is 6th, and Hai Phong is 5th.

In Haiphong, there is also a player who worked for Incheon. The main character is Vietnamese midfielder Luong Xuan Truong. Truong is the first Vietnamese player in the K-League to join Incheon on loan for a season in 2016 and played in four matches. I left the K-League at the end of the 2017 lease with Gangwon FC, but this year I joined Haiphong and stepped on Korean soil again against Incheon. Currently, Kim Do-hyeok and Kim Dae-jung, who were with Truong seven years ago, remain in Incheon.

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