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."

Arteta eyes new signings as Arsenal shed fringe players

Arteta eyes new signings as Arsenal shed fringe players
Updated 22 January 2021

Arteta eyes new signings as Arsenal shed fringe players

Arteta eyes new signings as Arsenal shed fringe players

LONDON: Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta is focusing on potential signings in the January transfer window after trimming his squad but refused to be drawn on a loan move for Real Madrid’s Martin Odegaard

Sokratis Papastathopoulos was released from his contract this week, while Mesut Ozil is on the brink of a transfer to Turkish club Fenerbahce.

Sead Kolasinac and William Saliba have already left on loan deals as Arteta seeks to re-balance his squad.

The Arsenal boss, speaking ahead of Saturday’s FA Cup fourth-round match at Southampton, would not be drawn on reports linking the club with a loan move for Real’s attacking midfielder Odegaard.

But he said the focus would now turn to the entrance door rather than the exit at the Emirates.

“We are in that process now,” Arteta said on Thursday when asked if it was now time to start bringing players in.

“We have done the first part more or less and we are focusing now on the second phase.

“Obviously this market and the context makes it difficult, but we are looking at options and we will see what we can do.”

Arteta, whose team are FA Cup holders, said the departures had left his squad short in certain areas.

He said a left-back could be on the radar, with the decision to allow Kolasinac to join Schalke until the end of the season leaving him with only Kieran Tierney as a natural option.

“With the departure of Kola we are a little bit short with left-footed fullbacks at the moment,” he added.

Both Ozil and Sokratis were omitted from Arsenal’s Premier League and Europa League squads for the first half of the season.

Arteta had stressed several times he was unhappy with the bloated nature of the squad and feels the departures will help him achieve a better balance.

“We could not carry on with 31 players in the squad,” he said. “It is unmanageable. And when you have to leave some of the foreign players out, it makes it even  more difficult.

“To do it for a few weeks is OK, to do it for months and maintain the health, the ambition and the chemistry is really complicated.

“So one of the main objectives was to make some decisions about how we are going to offset that. We have done it.”