Kim Min-hyuk passed the ball to Ataru.
Ulsan defeated Daegu 2-0 in the 35th round (Final A, Round 2) of the Hana OneQ K League 1 2023 at Munsoo World Cup Stadium in Ulsan, South Korea, at 2 p.m. on Monday. With the win, Ulsan (70 points) extended its lead over second-place Pohang Steelers (60 points) to 10 points, clinching an early title and a second straight league title regardless of the outcome of the rest of the season. 텍사스홀덤 Daegu (49 points), meanwhile, remained in sixth place.
Hosting Daegu, Ulsan started with a 4-2-3-1 formation. Martin Adam started up top. Bako, Kang Yoon-gu, and Uhm Won-sang provided support in the second line. The midfielders were Kim Sung-joon and Lee Cheong-yong. The defense consisted of Lee Myung-jae, Kim Young-kwon, Kim Ki-hee, and Seol Young-woo. Cho Hyun-woo was in goal. On the bench were Cho Soo-hyuk, Jung Seung-hyun, Jang Si-young, Kim Min-hyuk, Lee Kyu-sung, Ataru, and Lee Min-kyu.
The game went as expected. Ulsan never stopped pressing and Daegu counterattacked. After the start of the second half, the tense balance was broken. Ulsan took the lead with back-to-back goals from substitutes Kim Min-hyuk and Jang Si-young. The game ended with a 2-0 victory for Ulsan.
Kim Min-hyuk was honored at the press conference. Kim Min-hyuk, who joined Ulsan from Seongnam FC this season, anchored the Ulsan midfield with his alto-like performance. He came on as a substitute for Kim Sung-joon in the second half and scored a golden goal to lead Ulsan to victory.
“I’m happy to have scored in a game that could clinch the title with three games left,” said Kim Min-hyuk. When asked about the moment he scored, he said, “After the first half, I was warming up during the second half and thinking about when to go in. The coach told me to be aggressive because (Lee) Cheongyong was building up. I didn’t really put it in, but Ataru’s cross was so good. I just put my head on it,” he said, giving credit to Ataru for the assist.
Kim Min-hyuk, who was ambitiously recruited by Hong Myung-bo, lived up to expectations after joining the team and helped them win the title. “The manager, coaching staff, and teammates helped me a lot. They gave me a lot of opportunities to play. I think it was through my desire to repay them.”
“Especially the fans, they supported us a lot in good times and bad. Thanks to them, I think I was able to gain strength and continue to the end and win the championship.” He also thanked the ‘Churyong Warriors’ for their generous support. Finally, Kim Min-hyuk commented on his first career win, saying, “It doesn’t feel real yet. I think it will be realized when I enjoy winning more.” He concluded the press conference with a smile.