Yoon double puts Ulsan in last 16, Beijing stay perfect

Yoon double puts Ulsan in last 16, Beijing stay perfect
Tokyo’s midfielder Masato Morishige, left, up against Ulsan’s midfielders Lee Sang-Heon, center, and Yun Bit-Garam during their AFC Champions League. (AFP)
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Updated 01 December 2020

Yoon double puts Ulsan in last 16, Beijing stay perfect

Yoon double puts Ulsan in last 16, Beijing stay perfect
  • Beijing Guoan sustain their unbeaten run, beating FC Seoul 3-1 for their fifth consecutive win in Group E

DOHA: Yoon Bit-garam struck once in each half to send Ulsan Hyundai through to the round of 16 in the Asian Champions League with a 2-1 win over FC Tokyo on Monday.

The 30-year-old's efforts ensured top position in Group F for Ulsan with 13 points from five matches, while FC Tokyo are locked in a battle for the second qualifying spot with Shanghai Shenhua.

Ulsan though were in for a massive shock immediately after kickoff when Tokyo's Kensuke Nagai scored in the first minute from a seemingly routine move on the right flank.

Shuto Abe poked the ball into the path of the advancing Nagai, who capitalized on uncertain Ulsan defending with a measured low drive that beat goalkeeper Jo Su-huk via the upright.

Although Tokyo held the lead, it was Ulsan who largely dominated the match, keeping the Tokyo defense on edge constantly.

But after several attempts at goal, the equaliser came only in the 44th minute as Yoon curled in a free-kick from 25 yards following a foul on him by Joan Oumari.

Ulsan never lost their grip on the match after the resumption and sealed the win in the 85th minute, Yoon profiting from an assist by Won Du-jae and slamming the ball past Tokyo goalkeeper Go Hatano for his fourth goal of the tournament this year.

"I'd like to congratulate our players for qualifying for the next round. I am so happy," said Ulsan Hyundai coach Kim Do-hoon.

"We conceded an early goal and tried to recover it as quickly as possible, which was a good point for us. We fought as one team."

Meanwhile, form team Beijing Guoan maintained their unbeaten run at this year's competition with their fifth consecutive win in Group E, easing past FC Seoul 3-1.

Beijing had already qualified with two matches to spare, but didn't take their foot off the pedal on Monday as goals from Jonathan Viera and Renato Augusto gave them a 2-0 advantage at half time.

Yun Ju-tae pulled one back for Seoul in the 89th minute but Zhang Yuning put the issue beyond doubt for Bruno Genesio's men with a stoppage-time effort.

"Today's match, before the game, I asked the players to play with a serious attitude and respect the opponents," said Genesio.

"We played well and we knew we had to fight hard and score goals. Even after we conceded (late in the second half), we responded by scoring again."

Seoul coach Lee Won-jun was despondent after his team fell nine points behind Beijing, although they are still in second place.

"After the defeat to Beijing in the first match I told the players to play without pressure, which they did today," said Lee. "But they also committed some mistakes and we were punished by three goals."


Chelsea fires coach Frank Lampard halfway through second season

Chelsea fires coach Frank Lampard halfway through second season
Updated 25 January 2021

Chelsea fires coach Frank Lampard halfway through second season

Chelsea fires coach Frank Lampard halfway through second season
  • Chelsea has lost five of its last eight Premier League games and dropped to ninth place

LONDON: Frank Lampard was fired by Chelsea on Monday halfway through his second season in charge of the London club after being unable to replicate his success as the club’s record scorer in his first Premier League managerial job.
Chelsea has lost five of its last eight Premier League games and dropped to ninth place, despite Lampard benefiting from nearly $300 million spent on new players for this season.
Chelsea said the performances had not shown “any clear path to sustained improvement” — making a change of managers necessary.
“This was a very difficult decision for the club, not least because I have an excellent personal relationship with Frank and I have the utmost respect for him,” owner Roman Abramovich said. “He is a man of great integrity and has the highest of work ethics. However, under current circumstances we believe it is best to change managers.
“On behalf of everyone at the club, the Board and personally, I would like to thank Frank for his work as head coach and wish him every success in the future. He is an important icon of this great club and his status here remains undiminished. He will always be warmly welcomed back at Stamford Bridge.”
As the pressure has grown, the cracks were showing ahead of this weekend’s FA Cup win over Luton, when Lampard hit out at perceived negative coverage of the club.
But his own shortcomings of a fledging coaching career were being exposed and sentimentality counted for little despite being instrumental to the trophy-laden revival of the club as a player since the takeover by Abramovich in 2003.
Chelsea brought back its midfield great as coach in 2019 despite him having only a single season’s experience in management in the second division with Derby.
He achieved Champions League qualification in his first season by securing a fourth-place finish in the Premier League. The rush to dismiss Lampard is indicative of the impatience shown by Abramovich, particularly when the team is slipping away from the Champions League spots.
After securing one of the biggest jobs in English management so early in his coaching career, Lampard leaves Stamford Bridge without any success having lost the 2020 FA Cup final to Arsenal.
Lampard is a Chelsea great after scoring 211 goals from central midfield from 2001-14, during which he won every major honor at the club including three Premier League titles and the Champions League. He was associated with some of the best moments in the club’s history and admired for his work ethic and making the most of his talent.