Incheon United fell short at home to Shandong Taishan (China), led by Choi Kang-hee.

Incheon United fell to Shandong 0-2 in their 2023-2024 Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Champions League (ACL) Group G third leg at the Incheon Football Stadium at 7 p.m. on Friday. It is the first ACL loss in the club’s history.

With the loss, Incheon dropped to 6 points (2W1D) after two straight group wins and a home defeat. However, they remain at the top of the group with a goal difference over second-place Shandong (6 points). However, Incheon lost its advantage as Shandong and Yokohama all tied on points (6) with two wins and one loss.

Incheon started with a 3-5-2 formation. Mugosa-Jerso, Jung Dong-yoon-Mpoku-Moon Ji-hwan-Hernandez-Kim Jun-yup, Oh Ban-seok-Kwon Han-jin-Kim Yeon-yeon, and Kim Dong-heon started.

Shandong countered with a 4-2-3-1 formation. Marouane Fellaini, Chen Fu, Moises, Xie Weneng, Ji Xiang, Li Yuanyi, Liu Yang, Xie Ke, Zhadong, Wang Tong, and Wang Daley made up the starting lineup.

Incheon dominated from the start. In the third minute, Kim Yeon-soo headed home a free kick from Mpoku. However, goalkeeper Daley got a hand to it and pushed it aside.

The goal prevented Incheon from taking the lead. In the fourth minute of the first half, Mpoku’s ball from a corner kick was headed by Moon Ji-hwan, but the ball hit the crossbar.

Shandong fought back. In the 12th minute, Fellaini made a high delivery and dropped the ball for Wen Neng to volley home. The ball went wide to the left of the goal. Won came close again in the 26th minute with a mid-range effort that was saved by the goalkeeper.

Incheon pounded on the Shandong goal with threatening counterattacks, but came up one shot short. In the 27th minute, Mugosa’s cross from the right could not reach the toe of Jerso, and in the 38th minute, Jung Dong-yoon’s sharp shot was saved by the goalkeeper. Five minutes later, Jerso’s mid-range shot was off target.

Shandong took the lead. In the 13th minute of the second half, Fellaini’s pass found Krizan, who found the corner of the net with a precise right-footed curler from near the arc. Even goalkeeper Kim Dong-heon had a hard time getting a hand on it.

Incheon swallowed their disappointment. In the 17th minute of the second half, Jung Dong-yoon, who drove down the left side, sent a low cross into the box, which Mugosa raced to meet with a volley, but the ball was headed straight at the keeper. 스포츠토토

Needing an equalizer, Incheon pushed forward. Coach Cho Sung-hwan made a change in the 25th minute, bringing off Mugosa and Kim Yeon-soo and introducing Chun Sung-hoon and Min Kyung-heon.