Brisbane Roar’s next AFC Champions League opponent is Ulsan Hyundai, two time K-League champions and four time runner-ups in the South Korean national league.
Brisbane Roar-s next AFC Champions League opponent is Ulsan Hyundai, two time K-League champions and four time runner-ups in the South Korean national league.
Unbeaten in their first two ACL matches, Brisbane face a tough task in Ulsan with the Australian club yet to notch a win in their maiden Asian campaign.
Brisbaneroar.com.au decided to take a closer look into Ulsan Hyundai to give you all the information you-ll need ahead of tomorrow night-s fixture in South Korea.
How did they qualify for the AFC Champions League?
Ulsan Hyundai finished sixth in the last K-League season, claiming the final place in the K-League championship play-offs (South Korean version of the Hyundai A-League finals series).
Ulsan progressed through to the final, losing 4-2 to K-League champions Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors 4-2 over two home and away legs.
As Jeonbuk automatically qualified for the AFC Champions League with their top of the table finish, Ulsan took up one of the continental competition spots dedicated to the South Korean league.
How did they fare in their most recent domestic season?
The K-League begins in March and usually finishes up in late November each year.
In the 2011 season, Ulsan finished sixth on the K-League ladder with 46 points after 13 wins, 10 draws and 7 losses.
They scored 33 goals in the process (less than half of competition leader Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors-s tally) and conceded 29, leaving them with a goal difference of +4.
In the current K-League campaign, Ulsan have played five times and sit fourth with three wins, one draw and a sole loss to their name.
So far in the AFC Champions League?
Ulsan Hyundai kicked off their 2012 AFC Champions League campaign with a 2-1 win over Beijing Guoan in match-day one with goals to Kim Shin-Wook and Ko Seul-Ki.
Two weeks later, the South Korean side came from behind twice to claim a 2-2 draw with FC Tokyo – Kim Seuong-Yong and Maranhão were Ulsan-s goal scorers.
Currently, Ulsan Hyundai is second on the Group F ladder with four points, just behind leaders FC Tokyo on goal difference.
The attacking members of the Brisbane Roar squad face a tough defence in Ulsan Hyundai if last season-s club statistics are anything to go by.
Conceding less than one goal a game, both the Ulsan goalkeeper Kim Young-Kwang and defender Kwak Tae-Hwi were named in the K-League Team of the Year for the 2011 season.
Fearless leader Kwak is also captain of the club and of his national team, South Korea.
International members of the squad include Brazilian stirker Maranhão (on loan from J-League division two club Ventforet Kofu), Colombian defender Juan Estiven Vélez Upegui and Japanese winger Akihiro Ienaga (on loan from Spanish Primera Division club RCD Mallorca).
Ulsan Hyundai is managed by former South Korean defender Kim Ho-Gon, who played for the national team for seven years.
Kim has been in charge of the club since December 2008 and officially, since the beginning of the 2009 K-League season.
Since he began his tenure, Ulsan finished eighth (2009) and fourth (2010) before their sixth place finish last year.
Ulsan Hyundai play their home fixtures at Ulsan Munsu Football Stadium, located in Ulsan which is in the south-east part of South Korea, just a short 90 minute drive from neighbouring Busan – the new home of former Brisbane skipper Matt McKay.
The stadium, which hosted three 2002 FIFA World Cup matches, took two and a half years to build and cost over 151 million won (almost $130 million AUD).
It holds 44,474 spectators although in the 2011 K-League season, Ulsan averaged a 15,885 crowd per game.
This year, Ulsan-s average attendance from their first three home games is a disappointing 3,331 with their largest crowd of the season (5,537) coming in on March 11 in round one when the club hosted former Roar defender Luke DeVere-s Gyeongnam.
The venue-s nickname is the Big Crown Stadium.